When Do Child Support Payments Begin?

After weeks, sometimes months of deliberating you make the decision to get divorced. Among the first thing you should do is hire an attorney, then fill out your net worth statements. From there, a judge will hear your case and ultimately will grant you a divorce. Once the divorce is completed you find out you are 7 months behind in child support payments although your divorce was just finalized. You standing there scratching your head, and wondering why?

Domestic Relations Law (“DRL”) is why. It states that “such order shall be effective as of the date of the application therefore, and any retroactive amount of child support due shall be paid in one sum or periodic sums, as the court shall direct, considering any number of temporary support that have been paid.” Or put simply, once the divorce application is served, the support payments will start from that day. So, say your partner filed for divorce and you were served with papers on April 5, 2011. Your divorce was completed August 5, 2011. As of August 5, 2011, you are in arrears for four months of support payments.

In determining any child support that is owed, the judge will consider any brief support payments which you made prior to the divorce. For example, if you are in arrears $15,000.00 and you’re able to demonstrate that you are paying child aid each month for a total of $9,000.00, you are in arrears $6,000.00. What if you pay too much? Your own children will be grateful however, you will not acquire a credit. In simple terms, child income support for the year is $9,000.00 and you can show you paid $14,000.00, your spouse will not be responsible to return the extra cash.

It is imperative that you pay back all of the support you owe. The good news is, the court’s may allow that you to divide up your expenses into monthly installments in addition to the court required payments. Going back to our example, if you are required to pay $1,000.00 every month in child income support and owe $12,000.00 in backed support ($1,000.00 x 12 months) the court may allow you to break up the payments for the following year. For instance, you will still pay $2,000.00 court ordered support, in addition to another $2,000.00 a month in back child support for the first year, or in other words, that first year you will pay $4,000.00 per month.

Learning point: Retain precise records of all payments going to your partner through the divorce procedure. Often it might take around 24 months prior to when the divorce is finished, so you should always be either making payment on the child support or saving enough for whenever the day comes. Develop a paper trail very similar to you would with your taxes. Pay your husband or wife using a check to help you to have a record of every transaction. Keep in mind that if you are not the custodial spouse, you might be responsible for child support. Talk to your lawyer about potential child income support liabilities and plan accordingly. Make sure you retain the services of a lawyer once you and your spouse opt for divorce, you can never be too careful in times that requires one to surrender part of your income.


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