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Parents still owe back child support after the child turns 18

On Behalf of The Law Offices of Ronda A. Middleton

Jan 26, 2017
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Following a divorce in California, it is likely that one parent will be responsible for paying a certain amount of child support a month. However, there may be instances where the parent suddenly becomes unable or unwilling to pay child support. The amount that is owed does not go away; in fact, the parent will become responsible for paying back child support.

The child support debt does not go away, even after the child reaches a specific age, known as the “age of majority.” In the state of California, this is when a child turns 18 or becomes legally emancipated. This means that even if the child has already turned 18, a parent who owes a certain amount of back child support will still have to pay it even if the primary caregiver is no longer responsible for caring for the child.

The state of California is very serious when it comes to enforcing child support payments. When parents refuse to pay the child support that is owed, the state may garnish their wages, revoke their driving privileges or passports or even seize their tax refunds. If a parent still owes money after the child turns 18, the enforcement measures may still be continued until the child support debt has been paid.

The costs of raising a child can be high, especially if the parents are divorced. If one parent is ordered to pay child support but refuses to do so or is constantly late with their payments, a family law attorney may return to court in order to ask a judge to enforce the child support order. If a parent does not have a job or refuses to remain employed in order to avoid paying support, a lawyer may look for evidence to show that the parent is actively avoiding his or her financial obligation to his or her children.

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