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What Is Retroactive Child Support, and When Is it Awarded in Illinois?

 Posted on January 06, 2021 in Child Support

Oak Brook child support attorneyWhen you are a parent who is unmarried or divorced, it can be difficult or nearly impossible to make ends meet without financial assistance from your child’s other parent. Child support is a crucial resource for parents in Illinois and across the United States. Typically, child support is established when a child is born to unmarried parents or when married parents get divorced. However, the time between a parent seeking child support and that parent actually receiving support can be weeks, months, or even years. Fortunately, there are some cases in which child support is awarded retroactively.

Receiving Back Child Support in Illinois

There are many different situations in which a parent may be awarded retroactive child support. This means that they receive support for the time period before the establishment of the child support order. To receive child support in Illinois, an unmarried parent requesting support will need to establish the paternity of the child and file a petition for support. Establishing paternity may require the parent to file an administrative order via the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services or secure an Order of Paternity with the court. An unmarried parent may be entitled to child support dating back to when the child’s father was first served with paternity paperwork. Married parents may be able to receive back child support from the date they filed a motion requesting child support.

What Do Illinois Courts Consider When Deciding to Award Retroactive Child Support?

Illinois courts have broad discretion regarding retroactive child support. When deciding whether to award retroactive support and the amount of support that should be paid, Illinois courts will consider:

  • The child support guidelines in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) 

  • The circumstances of the child’s birth

  • Whether the obligor parent knew about his or her obligation to pay support

  • The extent to which the person requesting child support informed the obligor of the child’s needs

  • The obligor’s willingness and ability to pay child support

  • The reasons that child support was not requested sooner

Contact a DuPage County Family Law Attorney

If you are a parent who would like to establish child support, pursue retroactive child support, or enforce a current child support order, or if you have other child support-related concerns, contact Pesce Law Group, P.C. Our team understands how difficult it can be to get the financial support you and your child deserve. We are committed to providing you with high-quality legal support and representation. Call our office at 630-352-2240 and schedule your free consultation with one of our skilled Naperville child support lawyers today.


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