Here’s a fact pattern that occurs with some frequency in parentage court. To make this blog post more easily readable, we’ll assume that the mother is seeking child support from the father. Of course, that’s not always the case, but it is certainly the more common scenario.
- An unmarried couple has a child together, then lives in separate residences.
- At the time of separation, neither parent goes to court to set up any formal parenting time arrangement or child support obligation.
- The child primarily resides with the mother, and sees the father on an as-agreed basis.
- The father provides some financial support to the mother, and occasionally buys things for the child.
- Years go by, often with little to no conflict whatsoever.
- The mother, either on her own or through the State, files for child support.
- As part of the child support case, the mother requests child support going all the way back to the date of the child’s birth.
Is the father obligated to pay child support all the way back from the time that the child was born? What about the contributions and support he has already paid in the past, which were not required by any court order? Do they count for anything?