Retroactive Child Support Protecting Your Family's Interests for Over 25 Years

Retroactive Child Support Information

Courts can order retroactive child support for a period during which the support payor should have been paying support but was not, or was paying less support than what the recipient was entitled to under the Child Support Guidelines. This can occur when the support payor has an increase in income but does not increase support payments to the new Table amount.

Support payors have a duty to pay child support to their children, and to increase that support when their income increases. At the same time, the parent receiving support has a duty to actively pursue support and any support increases to which their children are entitled. Under s. 25 of the Guidelines, a support payor must, upon written request by the support recipient, provide disclosure of their current income. In addition, a separation agreement or court order may stipulate that financial disclosure is required of the payor or both parties at regular intervals. If the recipient parent knows or suspects the payor has increased income, he or she can apply to vary child support and to have that order apply retroactively.

The support recipient must bring the application for retroactive support while the child in question is still eligible for support. A parent cannot bring an application for retroactive support after that child is an adult and no longer entitled to receive support.

When will the court award retroactive support?

When determining whether it is appropriate to award retroactive support, the court will consider the following factors:

  • The reason for the delay on the part of the recipient parent in seeking support;
  • Whether or not there was blameworthy conduct by the payor parent;
  • The circumstances of the child or children; and
  • Potential hardship to the payor.

The court must also determine how far back the award will extend. If courts find the retroactive award is appropriate, that award will be presumed to cover the period after the recipient parent first gave notice to the payor that he or she was seeking more support. That notice may have been in the form of a written request to the payor for updated financial information, written requests for increased support, or the filing of a claim for increased support.

Support retroactive to the time of the payor’s increase in income may be appropriate if the payor was required to disclose any increases in income but did not, or was not honest in his or her disclosure. But if the recipient parent knew of or suspected the payor’s increase in income but delayed in asking for disclosure or an increase in support, courts will be unlikely to award retroactive support for the period before the recipient began pursuing increased support.

In general, a retroactive award extending back more than 3 years before the recipient gave notice is considered inappropriate. However, particularly blameworthy conduct (such as deliberate evasion of support obligations) on the part of the payor can result in an exception to this general rule.

Sometimes the custodial parent (usually the mother in this type of example) may not wish for the children to have contact with the payor parent, and she therefore does not pursue support or support increases, in order to avoid contact. If the custodial mother then, down the road, decides to pursue support from the father, courts will be unlikely to award retroactive support for the time before she gave notice of her desire for support.

Courts will also consider the recipient parent’s need, the payor parent’s ability to pay, and overall fairness when determining how far back to extend the support award.

Child Support Help in Ontario

If you are seeking assistance with a child support-related issue in Ontario, Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. is equipped to protect your interests. Delivering both comprehensive and unbundled legal services, our Ontario divorce lawyers can provide the extent of counsel you need based on your budget and goals.

Learn more about retroactive child support and all other issues pertinent to your divorce or separation by calling (905) 581-7222. We serve Aurora, Newmarket, King City, and the entire York Region, as well as Unionville, Richmond Hill, Thornhill, Maple, Woodbridge, and the surrounding communities from offices in Markham, Mississauga, Oakville, and Vaughan.

Meet Our Dedicated Team of Lawyers

Over a Century of Collective Experience
  • Andrew  Feldstein Photo
  • Deleta  Grandy Photo
  • Jeff  Hart Photo
  • Daphna  Schwartz Photo
  • Nick  Slinko Photo
  • Anna  Troitschanski Photo
  • Veronica  Yeung Photo
  • Shana  Gordon-Katz Photo
  • Shazia  Hafiji Photo
  • Lucy  D'Ercole Photo
  • Joy  Pura Photo
  • Andrew  Feldstein Photo
    Andrew Feldstein

    Founder

    Andrew Feldstein graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992. Prior to focusing exclusively on family law, Andrew’s legal practice covered many different areas, including corporate commercial. One of Andrew’s fundamental objectives is to achieve those goals mutually and collaboratively, as set out by him and his client.

  • Deleta  Grandy Photo
    Deleta Grandy

    Lawyer

    Deleta Grandy obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in 2012, where she graduated with Honours. She completed her legal studies at Western Law School, graduating with a Juris Doctor in 2016.

  • Jeff  Hart Photo
    Jeff Hart

    Lawyer

    Jeff obtained his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Studies from McMaster University before attending law school at Queen’s.

  • Daphna  Schwartz Photo
    Daphna Schwartz

    Lawyer

    Location: Markham Daphna Schwartz joined Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2007 as an associate lawyer. She was previously ...
  • Nick  Slinko Photo
    Nick Slinko

    Lawyer

    Location: Vaughan Nick Slinko attended York University from 2003 until 2007 where he majored in both Law & Society and ...
  • Anna  Troitschanski Photo
    Anna Troitschanski

    Lawyer

    Anna Troitschanski joined the team at Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2012. Prior to that, she practised Family Law at a boutique Newmarket firm. Her experience covers all areas of divorce and family law, including custody and access, child support, spousal support, and division of property.
  • Veronica  Yeung Photo
    Veronica Yeung

    Lawyer

    Veronica Yeung joined the Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. as a summer student in 2014 and returned as an articling student in 2015. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2016, Veronica was welcomed to the team as an associate lawyer.

  • Shana  Gordon-Katz Photo
    Shana Gordon-Katz

    Lawyer

    Shana joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as an articling student in 2017. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2018, Shana was welcomed back to the firm as an associate. While completing her articles, Shana assisted with legal matters covering all areas of family law.

  • Shazia  Hafiji Photo
    Shazia Hafiji

    Lawyer

    Shazia Hafiji joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as a summer student in 2016 and returned as an articling student in 2017. Following her Call to the Ontario Bar in 2018, Shazia returned to the firm as an associate lawyer.

  • Lucy  D'Ercole Photo
    Lucy D'Ercole

    Lawyer

    Lucy D’Ercole joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as a summer student in 2017 and returned as an articling student in 2018, during which she gained valuable experience in all areas of family law. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in 2019, Lucy was welcomed back to the firm as an associate lawyer.
  • Joy  Pura Photo
    Joy Pura

    Lawyer

    Joy Pura completed her legal studies and obtained a Juris Doctor at the University of Ottawa. Prior to that, she completed ...
/

We're Committed to You

  • Convenient Meeting Locations

    Our team is able to meet with you and provide quality family law legal services in Markham, Oakville, Mississauga, Vaughan, and the surrounding areas.

  • Quick Response Times by Email & Phone

    This is one of the most difficult times in your life and our goal is to help make this transition as smooth as possible. To help put your mind at ease we ensure that our team is always available to guide you.

  • Free In-Office Consultations*

    We understand you have questions and need guidance on your next step. We make getting these questions answered as easy as possible. We offer free consultation* for our new clients.

  • 25 Years of Experience

    Experience Matters. Our founding attorney has over 25 years of experience in the legal field. As a firm you get over a century of dedicated legal experience advocating for your family's best interests. 

Take the First Step

Fill out the form below to begin your free in-office consultation with one of our experienced lawyers or call us at 905-581-7222.
  • 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 make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.