how long do you have to seek child support

Is There a Statute of Limitations on Child Support?

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When a divorce involves minor children, it usually includes child support. These payments from one spouse to the other cover the costs of food, shelter, medical care, and other regular necessities for your kids. While the cost can be taxing for the paying parent, they’re hugely important for sustaining your children. But is there a statute of limitations when it comes to child support?

Our founding partner, Rick Jones, makes regular appearances on the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show, where he answers family law questions from listeners. A recent caller wants to know if he can collect back child support from an ex who hasn’t paid in years.

Email Question

“Hi Rick, is there any statute of limitations on child support or college support? My son is 24 and graduating this year and my ex hasn’t paid a dime in over a decade.”

Rick’s Answer

[Audible groans in background] The statute of limitations is something that recognizes the ability to collect on a debt for a period of time. When it comes to child support,  over the course of time, and over the course I’ve been practicing, the legislation has certainly elongated the ability. 

“So normally what happens is the ability to collect terminates 10 years after the very last support obligation. So it does extend for quite a bit. Ultimately though, he really needs to take some action now if he hasn’t already to try and collect on this.”

Danny: “The thing is, the event is still happening, they’re still accruing debt, it’s not like he graduated college. According to my decree, if ‘he’ doesn’t go to college I have to stop paying support on his 18th birthday. If he goes to college I have to support him in college. If he’s still in college, I think you have a way better chance of getting that money from a judge rather than if you let him graduate. You should move right now, I would think.”

Rick: “Yeah, absolutely. The iron is hot.

Danny:The iron is hot!!”

Related Reading: Do I Still Have to Pay Child Support if My Kid Moves Out?
Related Reading: “My Ex Agreed To Pay Off Shared Debt Then Declared Bankruptcy.”
Related Reading: Should I File For Bankruptcy Or Divorce First?

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