Under NY alimony laws can my ex husband seek back pay for alimony and child support

Asked over 5 years ago - Corona, NY

i agreed with my ex-husband that if i relinquished my job to him he would drop the alimony and child support case against me. now he and my daughter say that they will sue me for back pay .. this agreement was 4 years ago and he still works there .. my questions are can they do that and if they do how can i defend myself . i believe what we had was verbal agreement. thanx

Attorney answers (1)

  1. James Anthony Defelice

    Contributor Level 6


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First, in New York Supreme Court and Family Court Orders that provide for Child Support or Maintenance (Alimony) can only be modified by the Court. In some instances they can be modified only an agreement signed and acknowledged by the parties and notarized. A verbal agreement is insufficient.

    Second, Child Support can only be modified from the date that one petitions the Court to modify support based on a change in circumstances. Meaning if you file a petition to modify a support order you will still be liable for support that accrued prior to the petition.

    Third, a party can bring the other party to Family Court for Child Support owed. If he does, Support Magistrates hear the case and do not consider verbal agreements as a defense to non payment.

    If there is no order whatsoever and there is no written agreement that requires a party to pay Child Support and Maintenance then the party seeking support/maintenance can only obtain Child Support and Maintenance as of the date of the Petition.

    In either event, you should consult an attorney and bring any of the following documents that exist including a Judgment of Divorce, Separation Agreement (or Settlement Agreement) Family Court Orders etc.

    Mr. DeFelice is licensed to practice law in NY. His response here is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter in question. Many times the questioner may leave out details which would make the reply unsuitable. Mr. DeFelice strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in this state to acquire more information about this issue.

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