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I'm the custodial parent, but owe back child support, what if any are my rights to have this reduced or eliminated?

Carson City, NV |

I have custody of my child, however his birth mother used state assistance until being sent to jail. I am now paying back owed child support; however I have had my child since before he was a year old. What options do I have to reduce or eliminate this debt?

Attorney Answers 3


First you need to make sure that any ongoing child support order is terminated, which you can do through the DA's office (or whoever is doing the collecting now). Then you need to establish a support order against the birth mother. She owes $100 per month per child even if she is still in jail or unemployed. From there, you may be able to offset what the birth mother owes you as against what you owe her/welfare. Finally, you need to make sure you have a court order granting you custody. You cannot risk that birth mom pops back into the scene and claims custody along with child support. See a lawyer to review your existing orders and determine how best to proceed. Feel free to call my office if you would like a consultation.

Responses are for general information purposes only, and are based on the extremely limited facts given. A consultation with an attorney experienced in the area of law(s) indicated in the question is highly recommended. Information and advice given here should not be relied upon for any final action or decision, as the information is limited by its nature to the question asked and the fact(s) presented in that question. THIS RESPONSE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP, particularly considering that the names of the parties are unknown.

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You need to go to court and ask for a modification of the child support order based on the change of circumstance. Generally speaking child support arrearages are not eliminated, however if you can show your child(ren) were living with you during a portion of the arrears period, it may help you. I suggest you contacta local family law attorney to discuss your options. Best wishes to you.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Massachusetts. Responses are based solely on Massachusetts law unless stated otherwise.

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You need to file a motion either in family Court or with the District attorney's office so that they know you have had custody. It is unlikely that they will modify your obligation retroactively, so you must file immediately. There is not enough information in your question to know the economic viability of hiring a lawyer.

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