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Were you ordered to pay child support? You paid for a while and then stopped? If so, you owe not just child support arrearages, but also interest.

Were you ordered to pay child support? You paid for a while and then stopped? If so, you owe not just child support arrearages, but also interest.

Pursuant to Family Code Section 291(a) child support orders and judgments are enforceable until paid in full or otherwise satisfied.

Hence, if you were ordered to pay child support and have never paid or paid for a while and then stopped, an action to recover child support arrearages may be filed at anytime even after the child turned 18 years old.

Also, any child support orders or judgments accrue interest at the legal rate (currently the legal rate is 10% per year). Interest accrues when each child support payment becomes due and accrues for as long as child support arrearages remain unpaid.

Example:

You were ordered to pay child support in the amount of 500 per month. The child support order was issued on 1/2/2001. The child turned 18 on 12/31/2010. Based on the court order child support payments end when the child turns 18 years old.

You never paid/received child support.

1/2/2001 – 12/31/2010 = 10 year (120 months)
120 months * by $500 = $60,000 (child support arrearages)

Interest (rough estimate)

Dates Child Support Arrearages        Interest Rate Interest Amount
1/2/2001 – 12/31/2001 $6,000            10% $600
1/1/2001 – 12/31/2002 $12,000          10% $1,200
1/1/2001 – 12/31/2003 $18,000          10% $1,800
1/1/2001 – 12/31/2004 $24,000         10% $2,400
1/1/2001 – 12/31/2005 $30,000         10% $3,000
1/1/2001 – 12/31/2006 $36,000         10% $3,600
1/1/2001 – 12/31/2007 $42,000         10% $4,200
1/1/2001 – 12/31/2008 $48,000        10% $4,800
1/1/2001 – 12/31/2009 $54,000        10% $5,400
1/1/2001 – 12/31/2010 $60,000        10% $6,000
Total amount of Interest on Arrearages from 1/2/2001 – 12/31/2010 $33,000 

The interest continues to accrue for so long as child support arrearages remain unpaid, even after the child turned 18 years old.

In our case scenario, a child support payor would be responsible to pay interest in the amount of $6,000 per year (starting from 1/1/2011) in addition to child support arrearages (in the amount of $60,000) and previously accrued interest (in the amount of $33,000).

As of today, 6/23/2020, a child support payor would owe the total amount of $150,000:

1. Child support arrearages in the amount of $60,000;
2. Interest accrued before the child turned 18 years old in the amount of $33,000; and
3. Interest accrued after the child turned 18 years old in the amount of $57,000.

Look at you court order or judgment to verify if you owe anything.

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Please contact me at 619-737-3919 to schedule a 30-minute initial complimentary consultation to discuss your personal situation.

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