When my parents divorced the court ordered my dad to keep health insurance on me until I turned 21, pay college tuition and pay $500 a month child support. He never did any of that. I’m trying to enroll in college but cannot afford the tuition. Can I sue him for back child support to pay for college?
BLUF: Yes. You can sue your father and obtain the payments from him yourself.
You and only you have the right to enforce child support owed after you are emancipated. The legal citation for this is Cronebaugh v. Van Dyke, 415 So. 2d 738 (Fla. 5th DCA 1982) and is discussed and analyzed subsequently in Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services, Child Support Enforcement v. Holland, 602 So. 2d 652 (Fla. 5th DCA 1992).
You will need a certified copy of marital settlement agreement (if one exists) and the final judgment of dissolution of marriage which orders the payments. I recommend you hire an attorney to file this action for you, as it is an area that is fairly unsettled, unusual, and somewhat complex with different courts in different areas of the state coming to contrary conclusions. The only thing you should know, however, is that the appeals court for Orlando (the Fifth District Court of Appeal) has held that the beneficiary of the support obligation (you) is the only person who can enforce the obligation requiring payments after the beneficiary is emancipated.
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