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 3 months shy of being 18. My father has been paying child support willingly and on his own for the last 8 years. 3 years of which my sister lived with him. The first 10 years of her life he was "away". He also always gives my mother and sister both extra money when they ask for it. Now that my sister is almost 18, my mother is getting scared because his support is a good piece of her income, and my mother is threatening to sue him for back child support. Can she do this when there was never a court order?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
  • Cary, NC
  • Licenced 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,

Justia Legal Answers is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Legal Answers is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Legal Answers without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.