What is the statue of limitations for back child support? 3 Answers as of March 23, 2011

I'm curious if my mother or myself can sue my father for back child support? I'm 26 years old and was born in California. My mother and father were never married and she put "withheld" on my birth certificate and I had her maiden name until I married. My mother has always been financially strapped and my father has owned his own business and always been well off and never once gave her a penny. He has always acknowledged I'm his child, he just didn't want any part in my life. I know he's in trouble for not paying taxes, so if we were to sue would the government go after their money first? Would it be a waste of time/money for us?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
It would likely be a waste of time, unless your mother had an order or judgment for child support. If there never was a paternity case filed by your mother or father that resulted in a child support order or Judgment, it is too late to file one. If there was a paternity case filed by your father or mother in which a child support order or Judgment was entered, there is no statute of limitations on collection of arrearages plus interest, and your mother could collect the arrearages plus interest at 10% per annum. If your mother received state or county aid, your father can assert a defense of "laches", i.e., unreasonabledelay and preduce that your father suffered as a result of the delay, against an action to collect the arrearages.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/23/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
The answer to your questions depends on whether there was a prior child support order. If there was never a prior order for child support, then now that you are no longer a minor, your mother cannot get child support for prior years that she never requested it. However, if she previously requested child support, and thus obtained a prior child support order, which your father simply didn't comply with, then even though you are now an adult, your mother can still ask the court to enforce the prior child support order.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/23/2011
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
Neither you nor your mother can get any money from your father for child support. There is no law permitting you to retroactively obtain child support. She should have requested it during your childhood. You have no authority yourself to request child support. Sorry.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/23/2011
Click to View More Answers: