Posted by Nydia Streets of Streets Law in Florida Child Support

Child support may be established via an administrative proceeding in which documents are sent to the parties by mail to establish child support. If a party disagrees with the proposed child support amount in mailed documents, he or she may request a hearing. As part of this process, retroactive child support can be established. Retroactive child support is that which was owed prior to the order being entered establishing the child support obligation. How far back can retroactive support be ordered?

In the case DOR v. Brown, 243 So.3d 526 (Fla. 1st DCA 2018), the parties participated in an administrative support proceeding. A hearing was held and the Department of Revenue requested that the father pay retroactive child support for the 24 months prior to the date he was served with notice of the paternity proceeding. An order was entered establishing child support and requiring the father to instead pay support for the 24 months preceding the date a DNA test established his biological relation to the child at issue, a date which was later than the date he was served with notice of the proceedings.

On appeal, the dispute centered around which was the appropriate date to use to establish the father’s retroactive support obligation - the date he was served with notice of the proceedings or the date the DNA test established he was the father. The appellate court reversed the retroactive determination, holding “However, ‘the service date of the notice of paternity proceeding ... should be the operative date for administrative proceedings in which the Department uses the bifurcated procedure in section 409.256(4).’ [. . .] Section 61.30(17), as well, supports using the service date of the notice of paternity proceeding to determine the retroactive period.”

If you need help with a Miami child support matter, contact a Miami family law attorney for a consultation. A meeting may help you decide the best way to proceed in light of the specific circumstances of your case.