Child Support Lawsuit by an Adult Child
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Can an Adult Child Sue a Parent for Unpaid Child Support?
In general, a child cannot directly sue his or her parents for unpaid child support. However, a child may be able to collect unpaid child support indirectly through a legal action brought by his or her custodial parents.
Bringing Special Lawsuit in Arrears
Despite the inability of an adult child to collect child support directly, he or she may be able to sue for child support "in arrears" as a custodial parent’s estate representative. The "in arrears" lawsuit means that you, as an adult child, are suing for back child support.
Issues with Lawsuits for Child Support in Arrears
Again, depending on state law, suing for back child support may involve several considerations. For instance:
- There must be an existing judgment ordering child support payment.
- The custodial parent must still be owed some child support by the non-paying parent.
- The state law must allow that judgment to become part of custodial parent’s estate.
- An adult child must be appointed by the court as the estate’s representative.
- Alternatively, a custodial parent may pass the estates to the child by will.
Why Seek an Attorney’s Help?
Family situations and state family laws, including laws on child support, are highly complex and vary greatly. If you are owed child support, an experienced family law attorney may help you understand what state laws apply to you and what special limits or exceptions apply.
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Last Modified: 11-06-2013 03:16 PM PST
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