Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Child Support Agreements

Dear Famularo & Associates:

My divorce was recently final. Included in the terms of the divorce judgment was the provision that I did not have to pay child support. Can my ex-wife ever get child support against me in the future? Is there any way to protect myself if she does?

Dear S.T.:
The short answer to your question is, your ex-wfie can get child support against you in the future, if she files the proper documentation with the court requesting support.

The court always has continuing jurisdiction (power) to award your ex-wife child support. It is not something the two of you can agree not to pursue in the future. If your ex-wife promised today never to sue you for child support, but then changed her mind tomorrow, the court would award her child support.

The reasoning is that child support is for the child, and a parent does not have the right to refuse something which will benefit the child. The good news is that for every day your ex does not request child support, you will not owe that support payment in the future. Put another way, for every day your ex-wife does not file court documents requesting child support from you, you will not owe her any money. Your ex cannot recover money for any period of time before she files formal documents with the court requesting the court to award her child support.

If you want to know how to protect yourself from paying a high child support award, see your children as much as possible. Child support is linked to visitation, so the more time you spend with your children, the less child support you will pay.

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