You might wonder if child support can be awarded retroactively. In short, it can. In deciding whether to order retroactive child support or not, the court considers the following factors:
- A determination of the factors specified in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act;
- The noncustodial parent’s prior knowledge of the fact and circumstances regarding the child’s birth;
- The noncustodial parent’s prior willingness or refusal to help raise and/or support the child;
- The extent to which the custodial parent or the public agency bringing the action previously informed the noncustodial parent of the child’s needs or attempted to seek assistance in supporting the child;
- The reasons the noncustodial parent did not file the action earlier; and
- The extent to which the noncustodial parent would be prejudiced by the delay in the bringing of the action.
See 740 ILCS 46/802(e).
Historically, Illinois courts have upheld retroactive child support orders-retroactive to the date of filing of the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, or the date of service of same. For example, in Toole v. Toole, 273 Ill. App. 3d 607, 618 (2nd Dist. 1995) the appellate court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering the husband to pay child support retroactively to the date when the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage was filed, which was over two and a half years prior, and the children were now emancipated. In ruling in this matter, the court noted that if retroactive child support was not awarded, it would result in a windfall to the husband and would encourage non-custodial parents to delay proceedings.
Rincker Law, PLLC can help you with your Illinois child support case. Cari Rincker is also a trained mediator and can mediate these types of child support disputes.