Child support is a legal obligation that parents must fulfill to provide for the financial well-being of their children. The funds are necessary to pay for daily needs to keep them well-fed, cared for, and educated and to help them thrive on the journey to adulthood.
But what happens when a parent misses regular monthly payments or fails to make a required lump-sum payment? When this occurs, children are negatively affected. This is where back child support comes into play.
In this article, we will explore the topic of back child support and whether it is possible to sue for it after a child turns 18. In addition, we will answer common questions that many parents or adult children often have about back child support. These questions include:
“Can I sue for back child support?”
“Who gets back child support after the child is 18 in Florida?”
We will also take a closer look at the laws and regulations surrounding child support and the options available for those struggling to make payments.
Whether you are a parent trying to understand your rights and responsibilities or an adult child seeking to recover past-due support, this guide will provide valuable information and insights to help you decide what to do next.
What Is Back Child Support?
When discussing the question, “Can you sue for back child support after 18?” you need to be clear on what the term back child support means.
Back child support, also commonly known as past-due child support, is money that a parent is obligated to pay under the law for the financial support of their child that has yet to be paid. Therefore, legally speaking, the parent that does not provide the legally bound funds would be considered “in arrears.”
This can occur when a parent falls behind on their regular child support payments or fails to make a required lump-sum payment. The parent legally obligated to pay can become “in arrears” for missing one payment or a series of payments over time.
Who Gets Back Child Support after the Child Is 18 in Florida?
A court may order “post-majority support” for a child over 18 if they are still in school or unable to support themselves fully. In this type of case, the non-custodial parent would still be obligated to pay child support for the child.
Generally speaking, back pay child support after 18 is paid to the custodial parent. This person has primary physical custody of the child with the responsibility for the day-to-day care of the child.
For those wondering, “Can you sue your parent for back child support?” – it is possible for an adult child to sue a parent for back child support, but it would depend on the laws of the state and the specific circumstances of the case. To do this, the child would have to prove that they were financially dependent on their parent and that the parent failed to provide support, and because of that, the child suffers any loss.
Federal law exists to help out families dealing with back child support. The Child Support Enforcement Act of 1984 gives state attorneys, general and district attorneys the legal authority to collect back child support on behalf of custodial parents. Another tool they have is to inflict penalties on non-paying parents. State attorneys may take actions such as:
- Wage garnishment
- Placing a lien on a home or property
- Freezing bank accounts
- Suspend a driver’s license or professional license
- Go to a judge to issue a contempt order
With these types of penalties and tools, you can see how serious an issue back child support is in Florida.
How to Sue for Back Child Support
Are you dealing with non-payment of child support? It is not a lost cause, and some actions can be taken. Can you sue for back child support after 18? Suing for child support can be complicated, but a lawyer can help. An excellent first step is collecting records and evidence, including court decisions or late payments. This sets the foundation for the case.
Next, a motion for arrears can be filed in court by your lawyer. After the motion is received and processed, a date for the hearing will be set.
During the hearing, your case is presented to the judge in the courtroom. The final two steps: getting and collecting a judgment.
When to Contact an Attorney for Assistance
Although the back child support process may seem intimidating, a lawyer with plenty of experience, like Dean Tsourakis, can navigate the legal process nimbly.
Working with an attorney can help to ensure a favorable judgment.
Dean Tsourakis guides you through the complex processes that are involved within the legal system. He has extensive knowledge in family law and leads as your strong legal advocate when dealing with the challenges of recuperating back child support.
Contact our office to schedule a free consultation. Call 727-785-2700 today.on Feb 13, 2023