FC Section 4009 - "Retroactive Child Support"

Practice Tips For Child Support Orders

While Family Code section 4009 seems to say that family courts can make child support orders retroactive to the date that, for instance, a Petition for Dissolution (or Paternity Complaint) is filed (that has the 'child support request box' checked), that is not how it is interpreted by the appellate decisions or the Law Revision Commission Comments - they say "section 4009 means what it says": A child support order may only be made retroactive to the date a Request for Order (formerly notice of motion or OSC request) is made. Okay, I respond, 'if you say so.' The provision that applies to retro spousal support orders, FC section 4333, is much clearer.

By the time you arrive at a support hearing, at least 30 days will have passed since you filed your Request for Order. Upon request courts typically order child or spousal support orders retroactive to the first or the fifteenth day of the month in which you filed, whichever is closest to the filing date. This means that if you file a child support application on the 14th day of February, most courts will make the orders effective on February 15. However, if you file on February 16, many courts will make their orders retroactive only to March 1. Hence, whenever possible, file your application as early as you can. This results in immediate built-in arrears which can be significant in high earner cases, or where the ultimate hearing gets stalled for some months.

We Have Written Dozens of How-To Blogs About Child Support Issues - Click Here!


CALIFORNIA FAMILY CODE

COURT-ORDERED CHILD SUPPORT

RETROACTIVITY OF CHILD SUPPORT

Family Code Section 4009

An original order for child support may be made retroactive to the date of filing the petition, complaint, or other initial pleading. If the parent ordered to pay support was not served with the petition, complaint, or other initial pleading within 90 days after filing and the court finds that the parent was not intentionally evading service, the child support order shall be effective no earlier than the date of service.

Testimonials & Endorsements

  • “Michael Peterson handled this case professionally from mediation to the final orders. Over the 15 month process he helped me view things from a non-emotional stand point which made everything less ...”

    - Demetria R.
  • “Found Mr Arnold to be very level headed and very brave to take on my divorce. He acted very professionally all the way through. Worked very well for us. We used the collaborative process."”

    - Lee M.
  • “When my divorce went to trial, it became imperative for me to hire an attorney. I live in Georgia, so I had to do over the phone consultations. When I spoke with Mr. Arnold, it just "felt right" and I ...”

    - Michelle H.
  • “Thurman is that rare attorney who promotes cooperative, non-adversarial divorce. Where many attorneys exacerbate conflict because it inevitably results in legal fees, Thurman promotes resolution and ...”

    - Stephen J.
  • “Just wanted to thank you for your website. It's encouraging to find attorneys who seem to care. I am working at organizing a conference in Las Vegas to train attorneys to 'do it right for the ...”

    - Danielle D.
/

Contact Us

Call (760) 320-7915 or Fill Out This Form

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • Yelp
  • Super Lawyers - Thurman
  • Avvo Rating - Superb Top Divorce Attorney
  • AV Preeminent - 2015
  • Super Lawyers - Michael
  • AAML
  • Coachella Valley's Top lawyers
  • Client Distinction - Thurman
  • California Certified (CBLS)