The North Carolina Court of Appeals addressed the issue of retroactive child support in the case of Loosvelt v. Brown, on July 15, 2014. Mr. Loosvelt, brought a lawsuit against Ms. Brown for child custody and to establish child support obligation. Ms. Brown then brought counterclaims including one for retroactive child support. The trial court awarded over $7,000 per month in child support along with around $40,000 in retroactive child support including in excess of $5,000 in pre-birth nursery expenses and maternity clothes.
The Court of Appeals addressed the issue retroactive child support and clarified the law on the expenses that can be recovered before a child’s birth. The court held that "as the legal obligation arises when the child is born, expenses incurred prior to the child's birth cannot be considered as retroactive child support. The only exception to this is in the North Carolina General Statute §49-15 which allows for "medical expenses incident to the pregnancy and birth of the child."
Furthermore, a parent may seek retroactive child support for child support prior to filing the complaint. The Statute of Limitations does limit (NCGS § 1-52(2)) limits a parent to know no more than three years of retroactive support. The parent seeking retroactive child support must present evidence of past expenditures made on behalf of the child that were reasonably necessary.
If you are filing an action for child support, be sure to talk with an attorney about making a claim of retroactive child support.