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Are child support orders firm as to arrears, or is the parties' intent to be considered?

Los Angeles, CA |
Filed under: Shared custody

I'm a father with 50/50 physical custody; before filing for custody modification in 2012, my time was around 20/80. My ex recently went on social services, and the county has filed for support from me. I discovered that, concluding the case in pro per, I failed to get a modified child support order when we settled custody (we went to 50/50 and agreed to no support). Now that the county is involved, are they going to charge me arrears in strict accordance with the last order on file ($400/month), or will they consider our intent to waive support? She and I are both pretty broke and amicable, and she's not asking for any. Thank you so much for your time.

Attorney Answers 1


The County will enforce the existing order for support - what you may have "intended" will be of little interest to the County not withstanding whatever story both you and the other parent may tell them.

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2 lawyers agree


Cynthia Lajean White

Cynthia Lajean White


I agree with Mr. Drabin. However, your ex can waive any arrears and interest owed to her for back child support. However, since she in now receiving county aid, the county will be seeking reimbursement they are entitled to, if any. I strongly suggest you file a Request for Order Modifying the original support order if you have not done so already. At least that should stop any further arrears from accruing. In my experience, the county is not very helpful to someone in your position. Try to hire an attorney for limited representation if at all possible.

Jeffrey Scott Drabin

Jeffrey Scott Drabin


At this point in time you will be unable to stipulate to any waiver of arrears without the agreement of the DCSS & they will in all likelihood not be willing to do so. Further, before you run off to seek a modification of your obligation it would be prudent to run your own guideline calculation of what your ongoing support obligation should be in light of the fact that not only do you now have 50/50 custody but that your ex now has no income that can be input into the calculation. It is just possible that you are better off leaving the existing order undisturbed as a correct guideline order based on existing facts may well be greater.

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