Question: Can I file for back child support for a child I raised for eight years if I did not originally ask for child support? Custody changed to the mother about a year and a half ago where she did not ask for child support and now she is filing for it.
Your question does not indicate whether the two of you were ever married, or whether any prior child support order exists, but I will assume that the answer is "no" to both. (If I am wrong, then you should disregard what I am about to say, and resubmit the question with more details!)
A.R.S. § 25-809(B) probably governs your situation. It allows the judge in a paternity/support action to go back three years (before commencement of the proceeding) in assessing child support. There are limited exceptions to that time limit, stated in the same subsection, but they rarely apply. (That's why they're called exceptions!) So you may be able to undo some of the financial damage, but not all. The smartest thing you can do now is not waste any more time. I would *immediately* consult with a family law attorney who specializes in child support issues, and decide whether something needs to be filed at once. The clock is running more harshly against you than her, so the financial stakes are potentially higher for you.
March 07, 2007