Roslindale, MA asked in Family Law and Child Support for Massachusetts

Q: Can an unmarried mother of two children request retroactive child support when initially filing for child support?

Seeking retroactive child support back to the date the kids and I moved out. (4-5 years ago). We were never married and he is the father- on the birth certificate of both children.

This is a new child support request. We previously had a verbal agreement for weekly payments that he has not been maintaining and is thousands of dollars behind. I have all text documentation and joint bank account (solely for child support) proof of missed weekly payments.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brian Waller
Brian Waller
  • Worcester, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: Usually, a retroactive order can only go back as far as the date the opposing party was served with the complaint for child support. If there has never been an order previously, you may have the ability to argue for retroactive support back to the child's date of birth, but it would depend if there was any sort of adjudication of paternity. I would recommend filing ASAP in any event, it wouldn't hurt to attempt to go retroactive to their dates of birth. A judge would look at any financial support he provided in the past and also likely ignore any period in which you lived together, but you may have a shot at some support before the date of service. It won't hurt to try.

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