Retroactive child support is when the Court orders a parent to pay child support for past time periods before the child support was ordered. The time period in Texas is generally 4 years. The Court does have the ability to award less than four years of retroactive child support, but the presumption that the amount is reasonable and in the child’s best interest must be rebutted.
Remember that the Court is not required to and does not automatically order retroactive child support. The custodial parent or the Attorney General must specifically request it. Also, if the obligated parent has previously been ordered to pay child support, the Court cannot order retroactive child support.
Once retroactive child support is ordered by the court you must pay it. Failure to pay the support could result in other collection efforts or enforcement actions being taken against you.