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Is it Possible to Receive Retroactive Child Support in Illinois?

Posted on in Child Support

North Aurora family law attorney child support

When a child’s parents are not in a relationship with one another, it is very likely that some form of parenting agreement has been created to lay down the terms of the co-parenting relationship. In many cases, the parenting agreement will also include the terms of child support that the parent with the least amount of parenting time is required to pay to the other parent. However, not all parenting agreements contain information about child support orders. Whatever the reason for the absence of the child support order at the time the parents split, some people may not know that the state of Illinois allows parents to collect retroactive child support in some situations.

Retroactive and Back Child Support

Once entered, child support orders are enforceable by law, meaning you face consequences if you do not obey the order. If a parent does not make the required monthly payments, this means they have become delinquent on their order. They still are required to make the scheduled monthly payments, in addition to making back payments for any support payments they missed.

If a child’s parents do not enter a child support order at all and then a parent seeks child support from the other parent sometime in the future, this is called retroactive support. There are various reasons why a parent might have not established a child support order when they first separated from the other parent. Perhaps they did not have the child’s paternity established or they already had an informal agreement in place with the child’s other parent.

Determining Retroactive Child Support

In Illinois, there is a distinction made between married and unmarried parents when one parent is seeking retroactive child support. If the parents were married but a child support order was never entered at the time the marriage was dissolved, the parent with the majority of parenting time, also known as the custodial parent, can request child support dating back to when they first filed the motion for child support. If the parents were never married, the custodial parent can ask the judge to award retroactive child support all the way back to the date of the child’s birth, in some situations.

Judges are given much discretion when making decisions about retroactive child support. When making the decision of whether and to what extent retroactive child support should be awarded, the judge must consider:

  • The same factors contained in the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) that are used for determining child support.

  • Any prior knowledge the paying spouse had about the child and the circumstances surrounding his or her birth.

  • The prior willingness or refusal from the paying parent to help raise or support the child.

  • The extent to which the parent seeking support notified the paying spouse of the child’s needs or sought help in raising or supporting the child.

  • The reasons the parenting seeking support did not file for support earlier.

Our Kendall County Child Support Enforcement Attorney is Here to Help

If you want to seek retroactive child support from your child’s other parent, you should speak with a Yorkville child support lawyer as soon as possible. It can be a long and difficult process to obtain the support that you and your child deserve, but the skilled legal team at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. will assist you throughout the proceedings. To get started on your case, call our office today at 630-409-8184 to schedule a private consultation.



The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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