Child support statute of limitations

Personal injury lawyer Joe Stanley Stanley Law OfficesRadio Call Ins

Here’s another question I was just asked by a radio show caller this morning, and it’s from California. Every state’s got different laws for different things. This one is about a woman who is suing her ex-husband for child support, even though they divorced 50 years ago. Because in California, unlike in New York, there’s no statute of limitations on child support.

Child Support

Well, child support usually ends when you’re either age 21 … or in New York it does. You don’t get child support after that. She’s going back ’cause the dollars 50 years ago, he would have owed –  $30,000. Now, it’s $171,000.

New York has a statute of limitations on that. But there’s no statute of limitations on child support in California. That’s why she’s going after it all these years later.

Here’s the story as best I understand it:

She’s now retiring. They got divorced 50 years ago, and her daughter is grown. Now she’s going into retirement with obviously much less income. So she happened to find out there’s no statute of limitations, so she took the ex back to court.

Apparently she did make a claim for alimony way back when.  I will be interested to see what the courts say about they draw the line on that or not. Meaning, that’s like the legal doctrine, meaning okay, you waited too long to exercise your rights when you very well could have. And that allowing somebody to go forward now would be unfair, because what are you going to base it on? You’d have to go back to figuring out what he was making back then, assuming he was working … We don’t even know what he was making then. We don’t know that maybe he wasn’t making any money, and that’s why she didn’t go after him all those years ago. It was going to be like $110 a month or whatever 50 years ago. Which again, doing the math, now the whole grand total of whatever it would be is $170,000 versus the $30,000 it would have been back then. So I think that’s what she’s going after is that amount.

What’s fair?

But I’m not sure it’s not going to be computed that way. I don’t think you get his modern wages. I think you have to go back and figure out what it would have been and stay to that amount – what it was at the time and what the maximum was. That one’s going to be in the courts for a while. She may be well into her retirement.

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Posted By: Joe Stanley

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