Can I file a suit against my child's mother?

Asked over 1 year ago - Natick, MA

Can I file a suit for child support received for dates between a modification of child support being filed and the termination of the child support? 6 months after the date of modification was filed the child support was terminated. Although the both the DOR lawyer and the jdge said I was elligible to get it back monies from the date of the complaint being filed the judge never ordered it . It has been 4 months since the decision.
Do I have any chances of those monies being returned, even if it was clearly identified that even before the date of the filing the child was not attending college as per the child support order? This was in MA. , the child is 21, not attending any school, and living with neither parents.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Anthony Rao

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have an extremely tough road to travel for this endeavor to be a successful one. Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws 119A, Massachusetts law does not allow for retroactive modifications. Accordingly, although the child was, in fact, emancipated before you were able to terminate the support, the law does not allow a judge (in most instances) to go back and terminate the order retroactively.

    In hindsight, the most efficient approach would have been to file a Complaint as soon as you discovered the child was emancipated, and filed a Motion on said Complaint to have the order terminated within only a 2 week time period.

    Finally, you are only entitled for retroactive termination up to the date the other-side was served with the Complaint. For example, if mother was served on November 10, 2012, and you were in court on January 10, 2013, you would be entitled for a termination back to the November 10th date. Further, if you were paying during that entire time period, mother would be liable for the monies she collected. However, you would want to make certain this was - in fact - ordered by the judge.

    There are many complexities that this issue raises, and it is best you retain an attorney to guide you through this process.

    I wish you luck,
    Anthony Rao, Esq.

  2. Kenneth P Doherty

    Contributor Level 11


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The judge has discretion to order that you receive the child support paid after service of the modification complaint. You say that the judge did not order it. You are out of luck.

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  3. Jeffrey Allan Miller

    Contributor Level 7


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . It appears that your were the custodial parent. My question is... Was there an existing order in place prior to the Complaint for Modification, if so, then you are entitled to "collect" that money that was not paid to you for the child support, (as this is not a retroactive payment). Maybe a contempt motion.....???
    You may not have gotten a judgment because you may have not filled out the paperwork indicating that you are seeking this. The court can only rule on what you ask it to rule on.
    With regards to the termination of the child support, an attorney would need to actually see and review all of the relevant paperwork leading up to this event. You did not mention if you were married, subsequently divorced with a Separation Agreement in place.
    There are a few questions that a good attorney may need to have answered in order to completely answer your questions. There are many attorneys out there, including myself, who offer a free consult. The attorneys on this site answer to the best of their ability based on the information that you provide. I agree with the answers submitted by my colleagues.
    I wish you the best, and encourage you to contact an attorney on this site for more info.

    This response is not intended, nor does it constitute an attorney client relationship. The answer given shall not... more
  4. Henry Lebensbaum

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Speak to the clerk regarding the missing order.

    henry lebensbaum esq 300 Brickstone Sq Ste 201 andover, ma -- (978) 749-3606.
    Criminal Law (all courts), Drunk Driving, Drugs, Violence, Sex Offenses, theft, SORB, Divorce Child Custody Alimony Child Support & Modification, Contempts & Paternity Juveniles Domestic Violence & Restraining Orders, Business Law, Personal Injury, Guardianship, Conservatorship & Estate Administration & Legal Malpractice. For these & other areas, contact me. Email sent may be copied intercepted or held by computers.

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