Do I Have to Pay Child Support?

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I have a child support order to pay my ex-wife $125.00/week. The order was made at the time of our divorce in 1992. We had shared legal custody of our daughter with my ex-wife having physical custody of her. During the past 5 years, my daughter has come to reside with me on two separate occasions for extended periods of time (totaling 18 months). When my daughter came to live with me the first time, my wife sent me a letter stating I didn’t have to pay child support while I had her. When my daughter went back to live with her mother, I resumed making payments. The second time my daughter came to live with me, my ex did not send the letter, but I stopped the checks anyways and she didn’t complain. Now that our daughter was just emancipated, my ex is taking me to court on a contempt complaint stating I owe her for back child support because I never went to court to get the order modified. Can she do that and win?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

Based on your state law, your ex-wife may be able to assert a claim for owed child support if she has the appropriate evidence to legally back up her claim. By her agreeing to not accept child support payments the first time your daughter visited you, your position regarding non-payment may be substantiated for the first visit and subsequent second visit, but this will depend on your state law. You should contact a local attorney to find out how you should respond to her claim and if you will be held liable for owed support.

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Author: House Attorney