If a Florida couple chooses to end its relationship and the partners to it share children, then the partners may find that despite their desires to separate their lives from each other, there are a number of legal matters that they ultimately must resolve. This is especially true if the partners share children between them. In addition to establishing custodial schedules that outline where the kids will live, the parents also must work out issues related to their children’s financial support.

Many factors are considered in setting a child support order in Florida. The amount of income that the parents generate, the special needs of the children and a multitude of other factors may be reviewed to determine an appropriate amount. While in some cases a child support order will operate from the date it is signed by a judge, in some cases a judge may order that support be paid retroactively if certain conditions are met.

For example, a court may assign retroactive child support after considering what, if any, financial support the noncustodial parent provided for their child during the period prior to the execution of the order. Retroactive child support may not be assigned for more than two years prior to the execution of the child support order and courts may allow noncustodial parents to pay retroactive child support through an installment plan.

Parents who are in the process of establishing child support agreements and orders for their children may wish to discuss their potential financial obligations with family law attorneys. Retroactivity is only one of the special issues that may arise in a child support case and lawyers who practice family can help their clients make informed choices about how best to serve their children’s interests.