Can my ex wife sue me for past due child support after 13 years, we have a written statement from her to agree for lower payment

Asked about 1 year ago - Dedham, MA

we divorced 13 years ago without legal representation, 3 years after the divorced my wife agreed to a lower payment and put it in writing and signed it. now 13 years later she bring me to court for contempt. do you have a defense?.

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  1. Julie Court Molloy

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . The out of court agreement signed by the parties is some evidence of a change agreed to by the parties, however, depending on the specific circumstances, your ex-wife may be able to claim that you owe the amounts set forth in the original court order.

    I assume that you have paid child support in accordance with the parties' out of court agreement, however, if you have not, obviously you will be liable at least for those amounts, for which you do not indicate any defense.

    It is in your best interests to hire an experienced family law attorney to represent you to review the specifics and strategy. It is also quite likely that the child support amount has changed as the guidelines have changed more than once in the period of time you reference, and you should also review this with counsel.

    Best wishes to you.

    No attorney-client relatonship is created in responding to this question, and advice provided is based solely on... more
  2. Stephen Daniel Karpf

    Contributor Level 13

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    Answered . Absolutely, she can sue you in contempt. It was your responsibility, if there was supposed to be a change in child support, to return to the Court have the Court review and approve any agreement which you and she had made.

    You may have other defenses. You should consult with an attorney before proceeding and discuss with them the full facts of the case. You may have other defenses, offsets, or claims in equity.

    This message does not contain confidential information, is intended for the discussion of abstract legal issues,... more
  3. Joshua N Robbins

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    Answered . I am sorry you are faced with this. Without knowing anything further I would tend to state that you are likely liable for the difference in the amount due. This is a common issue that parties get involved in - reducing child support by agreement outside of the Court and then one party coming back later. I would suggest that you immediately meet with a family law attorney to discuss options / strategy.

    I wish you all the best.

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I am licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and have an office in Waltham.... more
  4. Henry Lebensbaum

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . your agreement to the extent that it disagrees with the court is some evidence of this. However, the court is reluctant to change child support without a court order. She can and you will do the best you can and get a lawyer.

    Criminal Law (all misdemeanor & felonies in District and Superior Courts), Drunk Driving and Drug arrests, Sex... more
  5. Estela Matta

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . Child support guidelines have changed significantly since you were divorce, so it is entirely possible that she may be entitled to a modification and can sue you for failure to pay the original amount, although you have somewhat of a defense in that there was a written agreement to modify that amount. The court will also consider the age of the child--if they are over 18 yrs old now it will present a different set of facts. Consult an attorney who will be advised of all the facts and circumstances.

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only and it is not intended as legal advice. Additionally, this... more

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