How Can You Deal With Back Child Support?
If you have been divorced for a period and your spouse is failing to pay child support, it is important to discuss your situation with experienced Fresno divorce attorneys. But what if you owe back child support, are overwhelmed by the amount and are unsure how you can ever get caught up? California law provides several tools that may be available to you for dealing with your child support arrears.
Compromise of Arrears Program
The Compromise of Arrears Program (COAP) is a program for eligible noncustodial parents to reduce the past due child support they owe to the government. This debt is owed to the government because the State of California supported the family with public assistance or while the children were in foster care. A computer program considers your income and assets in determining the amount of repayment required and how much of the debt will be reduced. Arrears may be paid off in a lump sum payment or over time in a payment plan, depending upon the details of your case.
Petition for "Equitable Forgiveness"
A California court will not modify child support retroactively. However, the court may excuse child support arrears under certain circumstances. One common situation is where the children were actually living with you during the time that the back child support was accumulating.
Motion to Set-Aside Invalid Court Judgment
If there was an error in how the court judgment setting the child support amount was obtained, you may be able to eliminate all or a portion of the past due debt. For example, if you were never properly served with the court pleadings and did not have notice of the proceedings, you can argue you should not be held liable for the accruing child support debt.
Settlement with the Other Parent
In some cases, you may be able to negotiate with the other parent to waive past due support in exchange for a smaller, lump sum payment. There are a variety of other reasons the other parent may agree to reduce the amount owed, but a waiver or reduction usually requires Court approval. Thus, it is essential to seek the assistance of skilled divorce attorneys in Fresno.
Consult with an experienced Fresno divorce attorney to reduce your back child support
The legal team at the Law Offices of Jennifer S. Morrison, P.C. represents clients in all aspects of family law matters, including divorce, paternity, child custody and visitation rights, child and spousal support, and property and debt division. We take pride in our ability to settle cases without the need for court intervention. However, when a trial is required, the most aggressive approach is taken, always considering the best interest of our clients. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.