Can You Sue For Child Support Years Later?
- March 15
- Evans & Herlihy
- Family Law
Child Support Is Important
Not All Parents Are Responsible Parents
Raising children is never easy. It’s an emotional and often costly endeavor. Expenses for food, housing, clothing and care certainly add up. What’s more, raising children after a divorce can be especially challenging. What was once a combined effort is now fractured. All of a sudden you are faced with custody and visitation issues — and questions about child support.
While courts determine the appropriate amount of child support based on a host of factors, life does not always proceed as planned. Just because a judge orders something to happen, this does not mean it actually will.
Unfortunately, when this happens, the person who loses the most is the child. They need those resources to continue to live as they did when their parents were together. Additionally, when one parent does not pay child support, the burden falls to the other parent, an individual who relies on those funds to provide for their child.
If your spouse has not paid their child support, you likely have many questions regarding how to move forward. What are your next steps? The child support attorney at Evans & Herlihy can help determine how much back child support you are entitled to and can assist you in recovering it. Contact them today at (512) 732-2727.
Child Support Explained
Parents Are Responsible for Their Children
Not all marriages are successful. We know that. In fact, almost 45% of marriages in the United States eventually end in divorce. In general, divorce can be complicated, and when children are involved it is even more so.
Being divorced does not absolve either parent of supporting their children. One of the most important things the courts determine in divorce cases is child support. According to Texas Family Code, courts are legally able to order child support . . .
- Until the child is 18 years of age or until graduation from high school, whichever occurs later
- Until the child is emancipated through marriage, through removal of the disabilities of minority by court order, or by other operation of law
- Until the death of the child
- If the child is disabled, for an indefinite period.
In addition to child support, Texas parents are also required to pay medical support, which is the combination of health insurance and those medical expenses not covered by the policy (uninsured costs). Dental support is also mandated.
Advocating for Your Child and Yourself
How Far Back Can You Sue For Child Support?
While the specifics can be complicated, there is no question that parents are responsible for supporting their children. But, what happens when one parent does not uphold these duties? The questions are numerous. Do you, as a parent, have recourse? Does time play a factor?
First, it is important to recognize that the Attorney General’s Office is responsible for both “establishing, enforcing and modifying child and medical support orders; and collecting and distributing child support payments.” When a parent does not pay support, the office can take a number of steps, including:
- Suspending the non-paying parent’s driver’s license
- Filing liens on the non-paying parent’s assets
- Denying the non-paying parent issuance or renewal of a passport
- Reporting non-payment to credit monitoring organizations
- Garnishing lottery winnings
- Holding the non-paying parent in civil or criminal contempt.
In the end, though, if you are the parent who has not received the money you need to help support your child, you can take action. An experienced and skilled child support attorney can help you take the necessary steps to recover the money you are owed.
Texas Law Provides the Specifics
Your attorney can file a lawsuit for back child support even if a period of time has passed. And it makes sense to do so. As the parent who has picked up the slack over time, you deserve to be reimbursed for these expenses.
If you have an existing court order that outlines your child support agreement, you can file for back child support for up to ten years from the 18th birthday of your child. But, pay attention to the timing — you may not be able to recover money after that date.
Time frames are significantly more narrow for families that do not have a court order in place. Cases like this are referred to as retroactive child support claims. In circumstances like this, Texas Family Code (FAM § 154.131) allows for lawsuits to be filed for only four years after the child’s 18th birthday. Be aware that typically the amount awarded will not be more than what that individual would have been required to pay over the past four years if a court order had been issued. However, if the parent intentionally did not pay to support their child, awards may be higher.
Contact The Skilled Child Support Attorneys at Evans & Herlihy Today
The process for filing for past-due child support can be complicated. Working with an experienced child support attorney, someone who understands the laws governing the process in Texas, is incredibly valuable.
The professionals at Evans & Herlihy are ready to work with you. They have years of experience helping parents sue for back child support. They understand how the process works and are well-versed in all state laws, as well as the local court system.
The child support attorneys at Evans & Herlihy are ready to help you recover the money you need and deserve. Providing for children is the responsibility of both parents; and when one individual fails to uphold it, both the child and other parent suffer. Contact us today at (512) 732-2727 to discuss your case and learn how we can help you get the resolution you deserve.