Father handing over moneyThis is the next post in my series on misperceptions regarding the rights of Melbourne, Florida fathers. My last article explained the consequences of a father agreeing that his child may move out of state. It is important for dads to understand that consenting to a relocation will often result in having to litigate any disputes in the child’s new home state. In order to fully understand the ramifications of a move, it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced attorney. In this article I will address another issue which often leads to confusion – how Florida addresses the issue of “back” or unpaid child support. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.

Unpaid child support is often an issue when parents have never had a child custody order. Under Florida law, the parent who will be receiving support may request repayment for up to the prior two years when they initiate custody proceedings. Say, for example, that a parent filed for custody of their nine year old child on January 1st, 2019. Such a parent would be allowed to request back support for all of 2017 and 2018 (a two year period). That parent, however, would have given up their right to request support for 2016 or any prior years. This means that a dad who is considering filing for custody, should be aware of how the Court views such matters.

Many fathers, who have not received visitation in the past, are concerned with how the court will handle the issue of back child support in the event that they choose to file a custody case. Typically, Courts will require that the dad (assuming that the father is the party paying support) to make their current monthly payments along with a smaller monthly amount towards any arrearages. In other words, it is rare that a father would be responsible for all of the arrears immediately. How the Court will rule in any given instance, however, will always depend on the specific facts of a given case. It is, therefore, important to discuss your situation with a lawyer.

If you are involved in a case which involves back child support then contact my office today to speak with a Melbourne attorney. My office strives to provide everyone with the highest levels of service and we will give your case the attention it deserves. We are ready to assist you. We also service clients in the Brevard County cities of Titusville, Cocoa, Palm Bay, Grant, Valkaria, and Rockledge, as well as in the Indian River County areas of Fellsmere, Sebastian, Vero Beach, Indian River Shores, and Orchid.