When there is no statute of limitations on a law, that means there is no time limit to enforce it. Not a year, not five years, not even 49 years.
That is how long it took a California woman to get her back child support paid by her former husband. A judge recently ordered the ex-husband to pay her $150,000 in unpaid support and interest.
A 49-year wait
The couple divorced in 1970 after four years of marriage. At the time, the husband was ordered to pay child support for the couple’s young daughter starting at the beginning of 1971.
But the father never paid. According to the ex-wife, he sent one check that bounced, then fled to Canada with his girlfriend. She lost track of him and was unable to enforce the child support order.
She found work as an interior designer, but was often absent from home. “I had to raise myself,” her daughter recalled. Today, the mother is 74 and still must work part-time to supplement her Social Security payments and make ends meet.
No statute of limitation on child support
It was not until 2018 that the woman learned that California does not have a statute of limitations on recovering unpaid child support. She tracked down her ex-husband in Oregon and went to court. The judge granted her request for full payment plus 10% interest.
For his part, the ex-husband, who is apparently financially comfortable, claims he is glad to pay. The payments will start with a partial lump sum transfer, then turn into regular monthly payments. The ex-wife believes the publicity surrounding this case will force him to keep his word this time.
When child support is an issue
There is a lot at stake when creating or amending a child support order. As a parent, you owe it to yourself and your children to have an experienced divorce attorney representing you.