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    Back Child Support... How does that work?

    Child support is most often awarded by Arkansas courts to the custodial party of a minor child.  The custodial party is the person who takes care of the “day-to-day” responsibilities of the child and has physical custody.  The custodial party is not always a parent; sometimes it is a legal guardian or caretaker. Although parents may have “joint” custody, one parent may be awarded child support to offset financial costs associated with the child.


    The definition of back child support or “accrued arrearage”, as it is called in Arkansas, is clear.  It is child support that is considered rearward. It is the responsibility of both parents to support their children until they reach a majority age.  In Arkansas, the age of majority, under usual circumstances, is 18 years old.   


    Child Support Enforcement Program was established in 1975 to collect child support because it is the belief of our federal system that every child has the right to parental support.  Though child support is enforced by local and state government, the U.S Department of Health & Human Services requires state agencies, known as “Title IV-D” agencies, to provide child support enforcement services and works with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, Revenue Division, Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE) on child support related issues in Arkansas. 

     

    Under Arkansas law, child support can be awarded back to a child’s birth.  If you are a custodial party and think that your child is owed back child support, you must take action as soon as possible as there are applicable time bars.  In order to be considered, you must be able to prove that your child is entitled to the requested amount.  You may be asked, among other things, to prove that the child was in your custody for the time period in question.  


    Child support is never an easy topic.  However, children should not have to sacrifice because of a parent’s decision, and parents supporting children financially is always the best choice.