Austell, GA asked in Family Law for Georgia

Q: Can a woman sue a man for "back" child support if there was never a court order?

My sister is almost 18. My father has been paying child support on time and on his own for 8 years to my mother for my sister, and also gives both of them extra money when they ask for it. 3 of those years my sister lived with him. For the first 10 years of her life he was incarcerated. No that my sister will be 18 in 3 months, she is getting scared and threatening to sue him for back child support. Can she do this when there was never a court order?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Rachel Lea Hunter
Rachel Lea Hunter
  • Cary, NC
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Yes and no. Child support orders are prospective in that child support runs from the date the child support petition is filed. However, caselaw permits a mother (its usually the mother) to seek retroactive support from the man. This support is not based on the child support guidelines but allows the mother to recoup some of her reasonable expenses incurred in caring for the child. GA appears to allow the mother to go back to the date of the child's birth in attempting to establish these expenses. See Smith v. Carter,

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