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NSW How Far Back Can Child Support Backpay Go?

Discussion in 'Family Law Forum' started by Rocko, 19 July 2016.

  1. Rocko

    Rocko Member

    19 July 2016
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    Hi, I am a 36-year-old Australian man who had a brief relationship with a Canadian woman 10 years ago. We met in Sydney and after approximately 6 weeks she fell pregnant. At this time, her visa was to expire and she would return to British Columbia and my daughter would be born there. I packed up my house and belongings and we agreed to give the relationship a go for the sake of our unborn daughter.

    After a month or so of living together, it was clear our relationship wasn't going to work. I was there for the birth of our daughter and I returned home about a month after she was born. It nearly killed me. After 6 months back in Australia, I felt a large part of me was missing and the mother and i agreed that I would return and give it another go.

    After another 12 months, we had to separate. It was clear this relationship between the mother and I wasn't going to work. From the moment, I returned back to Australia. We had an agreement that I would pay 800 per month Child Support. This was based on the fact that I would receive regular updates, photos, etc. on my daughter's life. I honoured this agreement.

    I took another visit over there to see her when she was 3 years old. Soon after I returned home from the visit, the mother changed her way of thinking and thought it would be best for my daughter to not be involved with me. She moved into another relationship and would try to push me aside in order for my daughter to form a father/daughter relationship with her new partner. I would no longer receive photos, updates anymore.

    I continued my honour to pay child support up until 3 years ago when I stopped. This wasn't fair. I was not allowed to have anything to do with my daughter. The mother did not contest my decision. She was happy enough with trying to get my daughter to bond with the new father figure in her life.

    A few months ago, the mother has reached out to me and told me that she is willing to let me back in my daughter's life. Her relationship has failed with her partner and she wants my daughter to get to know me again. I am thrilled. She is also asking for child support to be paid in arrears back to 3 years ago. I am wondering where I stand with this and how far back she can legally ask for child support payments.

    I would also like to know if anyone knows a lawyer in Australia that can help me with Canadian Law.
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

    27 May 2014
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    I can't answer your question however an observation here is that the mother is purely using you as a cash machine and seems to have no thoughts as far as providing a role for you as a father to 'her' daughter.

    You may find when the next man enters the mother's life you stand a good chance of being pushed aside again. You can test this by standing firm on back child support and see what the mother says. If she is adamant no contact without support you'll know her motives are purely about money. Also remember that for 3 years she was getting support from the other guy and now wants to 'double dip'.
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  3. sammy01

    sammy01 Well-Known Member

    27 September 2015
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    In Australia, Child Support is payable from the time of application. So no arrears. Presumably, that is to stop this sorta blackmail. Mate this ain't legal advice. Just my thinking. She is scamming you.

    Now that said, you do have an obligation for this little life. I'd suggest you use the dept of human services to try and roughly work out what you should be paying and pay about that amount.... Now I'm sure there is a child support system in Canada. She can apply through them if she wants.

    But don't let yourself get blackmailed. Tell her you'll use that money to come visit the kid... That will test whether she actually wants you in the kid's life or if she just wants your money. But I would not be doing back pay
  4. Parallel

    Parallel Well-Known Member

    3 February 2017
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    Just a suggestion - could you create a bank account in Trust for your daughter with the equivalent amount and she can receive it with interest on her 18th birthday. And just start paying the current child support each month from now on for the support of your daughter.

    I'm a mother of four children and I actually believe child support is for the benefit of the children.
  5. MartyK

    MartyK Well-Known Member

    4 June 2016
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    This thread appears to be some 6-7 months old.

    In any event, to offer a different perspective.

    RE: The original post.

    While the mother may have failed in any obligations to the father in terms of the agreement I.e to send photos et al, the OP ceased paying child support some 3 years ago, and as such, regardless of reason, did not live up to his statutory obligations.

    We are not aware, from the information provided, if any Court orders existed in relation to the children, and if none were in place, the mother may have been under no legal obligations in terms of those agreements (even if I do personally agree that she should have honoured them, if only out of respect to the child and other parent).

    As such, while it may be possible that the mother is now seeking child support, and possibly (always 2 sides to every story, at least) going about it for the wrong reasons, as she did not seek child support in the entire time (3 years) that the OP did not pay (which as I said was a legal obligation even if he was not seeing the child), then it would be erroneous, in my view, to make any assumptions entirely negative of just the mother.

    My questions would be:

    Why wasn't action taken to see the child at an earlier stage? Or was this looked into?

    What are your present views in relation to paying the base amount of child support?

    What would you like, in terms of a future relationship with the child?

    I like the suggestion of Parallel.
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