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Retroactive childsupport modification ...... does it have to be retroactive?

Fonda, NY |

My ex, who did not paid child support in a long time so I filed for support enforcement then, in return, filled paperwork for a modification of support. The support then started to be paid and now is a few weeks in arrears again. It is my assumption that the request for modification will be awarded due to circumstances. We are finally going to trail on this matter after a long time due to my ex not showing for a few hearings and thena postponment again due to the ex being appointed a public defender. I am pro se. I know that in all the cases that I have heard of the modifications are retroactive from the day the paperwork was filed.

I would like to know is it manditory that the modification be retroactive, or is it the judge (magistraite) decision. In other words, can I request that if the modification is granted that it be active immediatly and not retroactive. And if I can request this what are the chances that it will be granted? Thanks.

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Attorney answers 3


it is retroactive from the date filed. you need to get your paperwork in order and make sure you can show increased need if you are filing for an upward modification. further if you can afford an attorney you should get one.

I will allways give you a free consultation, so we can discuss all the facts of your case call us anytime at 718-263-6800


Unless there is a good reason and BOTH parties agree, any modification will be retroactive to the date of the first filing requesting it. Good luck!

Ms. Brown may be reached at 718-878-6886 during regular business hours, or anytime by email at: All of Ms. Brown’s responses to questions posted on AVVO are intended as general information based upon the facts stated in the question, and are provided for educational purposes of the public, not any specific individual, and her response to the question above is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Brown is licensed to practice law in New York. If you would like to obtain specific legal advice about this issue, you must contact an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state.


If your ex-husband's petition for downward modification is granted, it would only be retroactive to the date of filing his petition, rather than yours. If your ex-husband is continuing to pay support at the current (higher) rate, and the petition for downward modfication is granted, then your ex-husband would likely be entitled to a credit for the payments made at the higher rate. The parties can also agree (consent) to waive the difference if the petition for downward modification is granted. You should speak with a family law attorney in your area for further information.