Written By: Lenorae C. Atter, Family Law Attorney
Are you paying child support after your rights have been terminated? Child support, according to Florida law, is the right of a child with parents living in separate households. The child support obligation begins at the child’s birth if the parents are not married, even if paternity has not been established. Once paternity is established, the Court can go back two years, within the life of the child, for back child support.
If your rights have been terminated to a child, but you owe back or retroactive child support, or your support is in arrears (you have not paid regularly), then you may still pay child support after termination of your rights, but only the amount that was due as of the time your rights were terminated.
An example: A child is born outside of wedlock and the mother files a Petition to Establish Paternity. The petition is granted when the child is 2 years old and is going to be $100/month (not realistic numbers), which means the Father is $2,400.00 in arrears due. The court will have him pay $100/month + $50/month towards the arrears until they are paid in full.
Well it will take the Father 48 months or 4 years to pay off the $2,400.00. If before that time the father agrees to terminate his parental rights because the Mother has remarried and her husband wants to adopt, then the Father is still responsible for whatever the balance due is on the $2,400.00 until it is paid.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, please contact an attorney.