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Separation and Divorce: Child Support

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Is it possible to get retroactive child support?

Yes. If a parent does not ask for child support right away, they can ask for it later. A parent may be able to get child support for a period of time before they apply to the court for support. The court looks at the following things when deciding on retroactive child support:

  • why the application for support was delayed
  • the behaviour of the payor parent
  • the child's situation in the past and now
  • whether granting the retroactive support causes severe difficulty for the payor parent

The court usually limits retroactive support to the past 3 years, unless the payor parent acted in a blameworthy way. For example, if the payor parent hid a pay increase from the other parent.

Parents cannot ask for retroactive child support using the online Child Support Service. They must go to court or reach an agreement for any past child support.