Raising children can be fulfilling, but it can also be incredibly expensive. After a divorce or in the case of unmarried parents, child support should help parents who have primary custody of their children cover the daily expenses of living. Unfortunately, many parents who are ordered to pay support end up shirking their court-ordered responsibilities. While this is extremely frustrating, Louisiana parents can generally seek back child support.
A 74-year-old woman who lives in another state recently made national headlines for getting back child support from her ex-husband. While this is not an uncommon process when one parent fails to pay, the circumstances surrounding the situation were unique. The couple had divorced in 1969, and the three-year-old child the father had been ordered to pay support for is now 50 years old.
After the couple’s split, the woman maintained primary custody of their daughter while her ex-husband was ordered to pay $210 per month for the first two and a half years. After that, he would only have to pay $160 per month until his daughter turned 18. Instead, he apparently left the country and had two more children.
When the woman discovered that her ex had returned to the United States, she filed a motion seeking the unpaid child support. A judge approved the request in Feb. 2019 and ordered the ex-husband to pay $150,000. He will initially make a lump sum payment and then move on to monthly payments until he has fully repaid the owed support.
Child support should strengthen a child’s financial stability. When a parent fails to meet his or her responsibility by making payments, both the child and the primary custodian can struggle to meet even basic needs, such as food or housing. Louisiana parents who have an ex who has stopped paying child support may want to consider whether filing a petition with the court could help their situation.