April 8, 2013 By Paul Wallin

A common misconception in child support cases is that they are easy to handle and the parties can represent themselves. However, it is always important to know what your rights are and how California law regarding child support will affect you and your children. It is crucial that you speak with one of the experienced child support attorneys at Wallin & Klarich to ensure that you are getting the best child support order possible.

Obligation to Support Your Child

In California, each parent has an obligation to support his or her minor children according to the circumstances and position in his or her life. Additionally, each parent should pay child support according to his or her ability and the children should share in the standard of living of both parents.

How Far Back In Time Can You Request Child Support

Family Code Section 4009 states that an original order for child support may be made retroactive to the date of filing the petition, complaint, or other initial pleading. Thus, when requesting a child support order, the parent requesting support can only claim child support payments as far back as to the date that the case was first filed—this can either be in a divorce case or paternity case. What this means is that a parent cannot request back child support for the period of time before the case had begun.

Real Life Example of Family Code Section 4009

In a recent Wallin & Klarich divorce case, the parties had separated in 2007, but the petition for divorce was not filed until November 2011. Therefore, before a case was filed with the courts, the parties had been separated for 4 years. They had two minor children together.

During the 4 years prior to the petition for divorce being filed, the children were in the primary care of the mother and the father had visitation rights with the children. The father made periodic child support payments to the mother, even though the mother never formally requested a child support order during this time.

During the divorce process, the mother requested an order for child support that included having the father pay back child support up to the date of separation (2007). The mother’s request was denied. The child support order was made only as far back as November 2011, when the petition for divorce was filed. If the mother truly wanted a child support order to be made after the parties had separated, she should have opened a case with the Department of Child Support Service or filed a petition with the court requesting child support as soon as the parties had separated.

How We Can Help You

The lesson to be learned from the above example is that if you want to receive child support, you need to act immediately and not lose out on years of child support for your children. Child support matters can be complicated. It is important that you are fully advised of your rights and the effects the child support orders can have on you and your children. Our skilled and reliable child support lawyers can help you immediately.

At Wallin & Klarich, we have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients obtain favorable child support orders. We have offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, and Sherman Oaks and can help you now. Call us today at (888) 749-7428. We will be there when you call.

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