Can I Get Child Support All the Way Back to When I Got Pregnant?

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Question: I applied for a paternity determination in court for my son who is 5 years old. The father asked for a DNA test, and we are waiting for the result. If it’s proven that he is the father, can I ask for child support from the time I got pregnant? He gave me $300 ten times over the past five years. How do I know how much he can afford? He hired an attorney but I cannot afford one to represent me. Thanks for your help.

Answer: You have two different questions here, and they are:

1. Can you receive child support for the period of time that you were pregnant?

2. How do you know how much he can afford to pay you.

First, no, you can not receive child support for the period of time that you were pregnant. In fact, generally speaking, in many, if not most, states, you can only get child support from the time that you first filed a child support case with the court.

Second, child support is not based on how much he can pay you. It is determined by a formula that takes into account his income, your income, and other factors. It is determined by the court, or, in some states, the office of child support enforcement (usually within the District Attorney’s office).

You don’t say what state you are in, but this is how it works in most states.