Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.
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.