Written by attorney Bryan L. Salamone

Twenty Year Statue of Limitations on Child Support Claims

Child support has a 20 year statute of limitation for any orders entered after August 7, 1987. It is theoretically possible for a 65 year old mother to obtain child support for their 35 year old son. If the support was due and not paid prior to that boys 21st birthday. For example, if a father does not pay child support for his son and when the son is 15 through 21 years of age there is a 20 year statute of limitation whatsoever that will release the obligation. Unfortunately, if the enforcement did not occur close in time to the actual default there is no judgment and the person entitled to the support is not receiving the 9% interest due to judgment creditors. Nevertheless, in our scenario listed above the 65 year old mother would receive support that was due for her even though her son is 35 years of age. In these economic times we are receiving complaints by parents who say that the non-custodial parent failed to pay support from the ages of 17 to 21 for the children. The children may be in college and/or over 21 and we are successful in obtaining support orders. There are certain instances in where a child is not entitled to support if a obligor (a person who is obligated to pay support) can claim the child has purposefully refused a relationship with the parent. This is a difficult task and we have been successful there as well. These applications must be made before the child reaches their 21st birthday. In summary, child support does not easily go away. It can't be discharged and if a person does not pay child support for 1 or 2 years those arrears will remain for at least 20 years. It is always preferable to make an application for enforcement of the default sooner than later so that it can be reduced to a judgment and 9% interest can be obtained or seized through bank accounts; retrieval of tax refunds; and other means can be exercised to get the money that is due to the child.

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