The legal obligation to pay child support usually ends when the child turns 19. or graduates from high school. However, what if you’ve struggled with providing for your child while the payor parent violated the child support order and underpaid or dodged paying support?

Thankfully, it’s possible to seek retroactive child support in British Columbia. Learn how to claim child support after the age of 18. 

Can You Claim Retroactive Child Support?

Yes, you can claim unpaid past child support. When paying parents shirk responsibility and fail to provide for their child as outlined by court order, the parent due to receive the support payments may seek child support retroactively. 

If your child’s other parent avoids paying child support, the law is on your side. The Supreme Court of Canada has reinforced child support law to make it easier for primary custody parents to claim overdue support payments. 

When a court issues a retroactive child support order, it specifies how much money the payor parent owes in child support and details a repayment plan based on both sides’ financial situation. 

Can You Seek Child Support Retroactively If Your Child Is Now an Adult?

Just because your child is no longer a minor doesn’t mean the paying parent is off the hook. The payor parent remains accountable, and you can still claim retroactive support, even if your child is over 18.

In general, you can claim retroactive support up to three years back. However, this timeframe may vary depending on your circumstances and the court’s decision. Please talk to an experienced family lawyer if your co-parent owes child support payments dating back over three years. 

You’ll need proof of income for the other parent when claiming support retroactively. Acquiring this evidence could be tricky if your co-parent conceals their earnings. Discuss your options with a family law attorney if your co-parent hides assets.

How To Claim Child Support After 18

Are you unsure how to claim child support after 18? If you need to resolve retroactive child support, do the following:

  1. Consult an experienced family lawyer who knows how to handle child support issues. Your attorney will let you know your rights and what you can expect from a retroactive child support claim.
  2. Gather financial paperwork, like bank statements, tax returns, income statements, and other documentation supporting your case.
  3. Negotiate with your co-parent. Mediation may help you reach an agreement that suits both sides. If you’re both ready to compromise, you can resolve the overdue child support more quickly and with less stress.
  4. Start court proceedings. You may need to start court proceedings if mediation doesn’t work out. Your lawyer will help ensure you follow all deadlines and legal requirements.
  5. Enforce the court order. Once the court issues a retroactive child support order, consult your lawyer to determine how to enforce it.

If other methods fail, you may seek assistance from British Columbia’s Family Maintenance Enforcement Program (FMEP), which can enforce support payments through penalties like wage garnishment, liens, confiscating assets, and taking away driver’s licenses and passports.

Pier Law & Mediation Can Help You Seek Child Support Retroactively

Does your co-parent owe child support payments? Do you have questions about how to claim child support after the age of 18? Contact us at Pier Law & Mediation.

We can explain your rights under British Columbia family law, help you gather the necessary evidence to support your case, negotiate with your child’s other parent, and help you enforce child support orders.

Call our firm at (604) 359-3159 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation. 

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