I filed a legitimation petition against my child's mother. She is threatening to ask the court to award back child support from the child's date of birth if I do not agree to the amount of support she is requesting. Is that possible? Will the court award back child support prior to an order establishing paternity? Note that I have been giving her child support from the time of birth, just not the amount that she is demanding. I was told that these prior payments may all be considered "gifts" and not child support.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Thereis no such thing as retroactive child support. Support starts on the date of a court order.
It sounds like you filed pro se. (That's a horrible and dangerous idea). Get a lawyer as in yesterday, so your arguments as to support, custody, visitation and other issues are properly addressed.
If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at firstname.lastname@example.org . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.
When there is no prior custody order, the court can determine each party's obligation to support the child from the date of birth. The Supreme Court of Georgia has ruled that the child support guidelines can be used to determine child support obligations for prior years, back to the birth of the child. However, the child support award for past months (years) is limited to what evidence that the mother has for actual expenses for the child, up to the amount of the guidelines. You need an experienced family law attorney who is familiar with these changes in the law.
I am exclusively a family law attorney, practicing primarily in the metro Atlanta, Georgia trial courts. However, I handle appeals from anywhere in Georgia.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
The law does allow the mother to collect support from the child's birth, but she must be able to prove expenses and it is not common for a Judge to award back support. You need to retain an attorney that knows how your Judge typically handles these issues.
Family Law Attorney
Yes, but it is very uncommon for the Mother to receive back owed child support in a legitimation action. There is case law that states Mother can request the same, if she produces evidence of the child's expenses since birth. However, it is very uncommon and I have not had a Court award the same. The Mother could also request reimbursement for prenatal expenses, and medical bills pertaining to the birth of the child as well. You should hire a competent family law attorney to represent you.