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Family law: Woman awarded $150,000 for back child support

Child support is an important way to maintain a child's financial security after their parent's divorce. Despite this, some parents in Alabama skip some of their monthly support payments or never even pay in the first place. While this can be extremely distressing to parents with primary custody who count on those funds to care for their children, they generally have options under family law to secure their support.

Almost 50 years ago, a 74-year-old woman divorced her husband. The couple shared a 3-year-old daughter, and her ex-husband was ordered to pay $210 every month in child support for the two years following the divorce. After that, he was supposed to pay $160 per month until his daughter turned 18. However, instead of paying his child support, he apparently made an international move and had two more children.

When his ex-wife discovered that he was living in the United States once again and that her state did not have a statute of limitations on child support, she decided to file a petition with the court. A judge granted the request and, based on a settlement between the parties, ordered her ex to pay $150,000 for back child support. The judge reached this figure by calculating a 10 percent interest rate on the $30,000 the man originally owed. The man reportedly already made a lump sum payment to his ex-wife and will pay off the rest in monthly installments.

While this woman's story was a success, parents do not have to wait this long before seeking back child support. Alabama does have a statute of limitations on child support, so the sooner a parent petitions the court for an enforcement or modification of support order, the better.

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