Child Support Arrears in Florida

by Shari from Kentucky

My husband lost his job about three years ago and remained unemployed up until 10 months ago.

He now has gainful employment and is needing information about paying arrearages for the years he was out of work.

He has two children one daughter & one son. The son lived with us a total of 1 year and 9 months during this 3 year period.

He did subsequently begin paying for both children's health insurance and still occasionally sent money to the mother, but now she is threatening legal action for back child support.

My question is can my husband still go back these three years and have his child support lowered for:

1) being unemployed a large percentage of the time and

2) for his son living with us another large portion of the time?

Also the mother has said she will allow the son to drop out of school when he turns 16 this summer. Will my husband still owe child support on him after this occurs? Thank you for any insight as we need advice on how to handle. We currently reside in Kentucky and the custodial parent is in Florida.

Answer to Florida Child Support Question

Dear Shari,

My suggestion is that your husband be proactive and file to have his child support modified before his former wife takes action to enforce.

In general, it is difficult to lower child support, especially, child support in arrears.

However, he may be able to accomplish it, if he clearly explains to the court that he did not pay the full amount of child support, because he was unable to pay it.

And that he provided the support that he could.

He should be able to have the amount of child support owed in arrears offset by the time period when the children were living with him. He will need to carefully document the fact that they were living with him for that period of time.

Also, that he was providing for them and that the mother was not providing any support while the children were with him.

As far as the son dropping out of school at age 16, child support is still owed until the child turns age 18. It does not matter whether a child is in school or not.

Child support remains in effect, unless or until the child is emancipated – either by turning age 18, or by a court declaring him emancipated.

Notice: We provide these answers to the general public and our website visitors as a means to further their online legal research. These answers are merely suggestions and should not be regarded as legal advice.

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