My Ex Still Owes Child Support, But My Child Just Turned 18. Can I Still Get the Payments Owed?

Parents, regardless of being married, divorced, or never married at all, remain obligated to provide for their child. Child support orders are a means to help ensure that every child has his or her basic needs provided for. Arizona state law dictates the method by which child support is calculated. Courts are directed to utilize the state’s child support guidelines which instruct the court to consider factors such as the income and expenses of each parent. The court is granted some discretion in deviating from the numbers generated by the guidelines, but it is the starting point for the analysis.

In an ideal situation, a parent subject to a child support order would make the payments as directed by the court on a monthly or weekly basis. Unfortunately, far too many payor parents fail to comply with child support orders and steps toward enforcement must be taken by the court to see that payments are made. If you are struggling with getting needed child support payments from your child’s other parent, you are probably very frustrated. You probably have many questions. One question may be, as your child approaches the age of majority, whether you can still seek the payment of outstanding child support once your child turns 18 or the period of child support payments otherwise comes to an end. We will discuss this more here.

My Ex Still Owes Child Support, But My Child Just Turned 18. Can I Still Get the Payments Owed?

Collection of child support can be difficult and take a long time, despite the enforcement mechanisms at a court’s disposal. The court can order the non-paying parent to appear in court. The court can order wage garnishment. The court can also order the seizure of income tax returns, assets, and the enforcement of a home lien, among other enforcement methods. Sometimes, these enforcement strategies are not enough. They are not put in place right away and delays can make it even more difficult to collect child support owed. During delays, interest in child support arrears grows. As the debt grows, so does the likelihood that the payor parent will continue to try avoiding payment as long as possible.

Regardless of how long a payor parent may try to delay payment on a child support obligation, the debt will remain in place indefinitely. This is because child support payments are not subject to a statute of limitations. This means that child support debt will remain in place after the child support order payment period comes to an end. It will remain in place through bankruptcy. It is an obligation that will remain after the child turns 18 and until it is paid off.

Family Law Attorney

While you may find comfort knowing that an obligation to pay a child support debt does not go away when a child turns 18, you are probably still very frustrated in your struggle to get the child support you are owed for help supporting your child financially. For all of your child support needs, Cohen Family Law is here for you. Contact us today.