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Does GA have a retroactive child support provision?

Duluth, GA |

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.

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Attorney answers 4

Best Answer

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.

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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.


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.


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.