Collecting Back Child Support

What can I do if my biological father owes child support that he has never paid? I am in my 30s and he is 81. He denied me in the beginning and still does, but I have the original court documents stating he is the father and has to pay a certain amount, as well as the original DNA test. I know he isn't gonna be here much longer, if he hasn't already died (I don't know). He also lives in Florida and their laws are a little different than my state. Can someone help me out with some answers?


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June 11, 20180 found this helpful

I believe there are too many variables for any lay person to answer your question. You will need an attorney to guide you but if you cannot afford an attorney then you can apply to your local family services office and they should be able to appoint someone to help you - free of charge.

  • The first question they ask will probably be - is your mother /guardian still alive? If so, then most likely it will end there as they should be the one filing.
  • Did anyone ever file through the courts for back payments?
  • Different states definitely have different laws about when or how long (limitations) after the child is 18 can a person file for back support.
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  • Here are a couple of quotes from attorneys about this subject. Some will be confusing so just read to see if it looks like anything might fit your situation. This is just presented as information as you need the advice of a legal advisor.
  • "The statute of limitations on a child support action does may not end until ten years after the youngest child affected by the order turns 18."
  • "Laws on back child support differ from one state to the next. In fact, some states have a statute of limitations on enforcing a court order, dependent on how long has passed before the child is considered an adult."
  • "Generally speaking, the claim for child support (although you are clearly the intended beneficiary of such monies) is a claim by your mother. Did she never sue at all or are there arrears and she just stopped trying to collect? Also, there is a statute of limitations on going too far back if things were never even started in the first place."
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  • These are just some remarks and you should be able to see that yours is a complicated question but that does not mean that you should not pursue it.

You should check with a legal attorney/person as to your rights in whether you should try to claim money for the support that was never paid - even if it looks like you do not have a claim.

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June 11, 20180 found this helpful

This is a question for a lawyer. Go to the Legal Aid Society is you cant afford a lawyer.

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June 12, 20180 found this helpful

If you can't find legal aid on your own, talk to your state government representative to see if they can get you the help you need.


To find your rep ask Google with a search...who is my state representative + your town + your state (use your actual city and state names).

The rep's services are free (usually include a free notary also) and they can tell you what services are available to help. Good luck.

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