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Can a modification be filed for back child support for a child over 18 under extreme circumstances?

Westford, MA |

I am paying back child supportarrears for my 19 year old son. i have a disabled ten year old from a different father, who prevented me from working for 5 years (hospitalized inpatient 16 times since 2004). I tried to get the order modified, but, didn't win because because i didn't have legal representation. I have lost my job, but, even when working full time the support was causing extreme hardship. N Also, from the time my oldest was 17-18 he lived with me. DSS removed him from my exhusband's home and placed him with me. I didn't get support from him and am still being held responsible for payment for those twelve months. First, can I get rid of the $5200 that I dont owe when my son was living with me and second, is there a way to get the payment reduced?

The support arrears payment is coming directly out of my unemployment and I am left with enough for rent. - not food, not heating oil (which i ran out of last January and couldn't buy again).

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Attorney answers 2


The court is unlikely to go back and modify support before the action is filed and the person is served. You can try to seek to modify the amount of arrears taken from you.


An appeal to the court to reduce the support can be done if income has declined or there is an argument to make about extenuating circumstances that you feel the court did not take into consideration. These may include custody of another child or financial hardships; if you have another child to support, the law allows for asking to reduce child support. If you had become unemployed since the amount of his payments were calculated, the judge may say you can reduce support.

Check with your own attorney to make sure your children's position is best represented.

Note: This post is for education only and does not create an attorney client relationship between the questioner and the out-of-state attorney. This website is not a substitute for legal advise by an attorney in your state. Seek one to confirm or check the observations made by the out-of-state attorney. The law changes and is different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.