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Child Support and CA Family Code 3653 (b). Is support order retroactive to date I filed RFO?

Los Angeles, CA |

(1) I filed on September 1, 2012, due to job loss.
(2) We had a hearing on November 10, 2012. The order says, "Mother must pay child support in the amount of $890 per month beginning November 1, 2012. "
(3) I was paying $1,100 per month.

The minute order states that my new obligation begins on November 1, 2012. However, FC 3653 (b) states that it's retroactive to date of filing.

My question boils down to this: regardless of how the minute order reads, is the order technically retroactive to date I filed? FC 3653 (b) makes it clear that the order is retroactive, "unless the court finds good cause not to make the order retroactive and states its reasons on the record."


Attorney Answers 3

  1. Family Code section 3653(b) states that the order is retroactive to the date of service of the motion, not date of filing. When was the RFO served? Will it make a substantial difference if you look at date of service?

  2. The Minute Order controls unless it do es not accurately reflect the ruling of the court.

    The judge MAY make the order retroactive, but is not required to do so. Subsection (a) reads: "An order modifying or terminating a support order MAY BE MADE retroactive to the date of the filing of the notice of motion or order to show cause to modify or terminate, OR TO ANY SUBSEQUENT DATE."

    If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button or "Best Answer" at the bottom of this answer. By answering this question, the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not intend to form an attorney-client relationship with the asking party. The answers posted on this website should not be construed as legal advice. The Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not make any representations about your family law matter, but rather, seeks to provide general information to the public about family-law related matters. You should consult with an attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case. Thank you.

  3. The effective date specified in the code is the farthest outside time that an order can be made retroactive. The court has discretion to weight the facts in a given case and decline to make it retroactive at all or as far back as the date of filing. The date stated in the Minute Order is going to control unless the minute order inadvertently does not reflect the court’s intended order.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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