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Can a Child Sue for Child Support?

When a parent refuses to pay child support, it can create difficulty for all parties involved. While the responsibility of pursuing legal action generally falls on the custodial parent, adult children often wonder if there are legal steps they can take to advocate for themselves.

In New Jersey, there are options for adult children seeking unpaid child support. These cases are often tricky, so it is best to move forward with a knowledgeable family law attorney on your side. A knowledgeable attorney at Moskowitz Law Group can answer your questions about unpaid child support during an initial consultation.

When a Child Can Seek Unpaid Child Support

Most child support rulings ensure that a parent must provide support until the child reaches the age of 18 or is legally emancipated. However, if a child turns 18 and not all support payments have been paid, the child may be able to file an application to the Court on behalf of their custodial parent who was supposed to receive the payments.

In this situation, anything recovered as a result of that application would go to the custodial parent, not the child. This is because child support is paid to the custodial parent. The only exception would be if the custodial parent died before the adult child decided to pursue legal action. In that case, the child would receive the unpaid child support as part of the deceased parent’s estate.

What is Back Child Support?

Child support arrears, or back child support, is the term that refers to past-due child support payments that a non-custodial parent fails to pay on time. Any unpaid child support owed to the custodial parent by the time the child turns 18 is classified as back child support. The custodial parent has the right to these payments, even after the child is considered a legal adult.

To collect back child support, a custodial parent must file an enforcement application with the Court and meet certain legal requirements. A skilled attorney can assist with this process. Even if the non-custodial parent is unable to pay at the time, the Court can hold them accountable to pay in the future.

Discuss Unpaid Child Support with a New Jersey Attorney

Child support disputes can be complicated, especially when an adult child is involved. A seasoned family law attorney can answer any questions you have and help you understand your legal options. Call today to schedule an initial consultation with a dedicated member of our legal team.

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