Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.
“I have been divorced for about 6 years and at the time of the divorce, I trusted my ex to support his six children without the request for child support. Since then I have struggled to support my children with little help. I have been disabled for about five years now and it is getting harder to make ends meet. He was helping us, but now he has moved in with his girlfriend and I now have two minor children left and one 18 year old who is mentally challenged and with me only getting $603 a month, I cannot make ends meet. He has been terrible to deal with and I can’t get him to pay enough support to support my children. I should have listened to the lawyer at the time and asked for alimony and support. We were married for 20 years and he had an affair, but I felt sorry for him anyway and didn’t request anything except a portion from the house. Now, I have the house and the payment along with it. Can I still obtain a child support and alimony order or is it too late?”
Question: You may be late for alimony (spousal support) depending on how it was handled in your dissolution (if there is language like “alimony terminated” you have an uphill battle at best, and at worst no chance). You also may be late for child support for the years he did not pay, for the children he did not pay for. With respect to minor children and disabled adult children, the minor children are still eligible for support, and the adult child may be. You can either come to an agreement on an amount or seek a modification of support in the same Court where you got your divorce. In the alternative, states usually have a child support collection office of some kind, and you might want to get them to handle the child support case for your children’s benefit, and the public interest.