My Ex Claimed that She Didn’t Need Child Support. Can She File for Back Support Although our Children are Over the Age of 18?

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“My husband was married 25 years ago and ex told him she would only ask him to pay support if she needed it. So for the past 25 years no payment was made . Now the children are ages 36 and 25 . Can she still file back support and get it after all this time has past and both children are over age 18? Divorce was granted in Texas.”

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This may not be the complete answer in Texas, so check it out with a local attorney. Generally, if there never was an order for support, a modification cannot be made prior to the date of filing. Therefore since the children have reached majority, current support would be zero, and there really is not an action for the previous 25 years. If there was an order for support and your husband was just not paying it (based on some verbal agreement, or other unproveable understanding) then he still may be on the hook to pay what had been ordered. Texas Family Statute Sec. 157.269. RETENTION OF JURISDICTION. “A court that renders an order providing for the payment of child support arrearages retains jurisdiction until all current support and medical support and child support arrearages, including interest and any applicable fees and costs, have been paid.” In California, where I practice, there is no statute of limitations to bring an action to enforce a child support order although for certain bits of support the defense of laches (unreasonable delay) may apply. Likely not in this situaiton, though.

Lesson here: If you are entitled to a significant reduction in support, make sure to file for a modification! If you modify an order for support by an agreement with your ex make sure it is made a Court order!!

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.

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