If the custodial parent never filed for child support, may they file for back support once the children are adults?

UPDATED: Oct 28, 2010

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If the custodial parent never filed for child support, may they file for back support once the children are adults?

My children were 7 and 10 when we divorced. The custodial parent never filed for child support. The divorce decree stated that it could be filed at a later date. My children are now 18 and 21, so can the custodial parent file for back support when no support was ever filed for in the first place? The 18 year-old is attending junior college and the 21 year-old lives with friends.

Asked on October 28, 2010 under Family Law, Illinois


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Typically, there is no time limit (i.e. "statute of limitations") to collect on back child support if a support order was already granted. However, if you're trying to establish child support now (your situation) it will be more difficult, but not necessarily impossible.  What you need to do now is to consult with a divorce attorney or contact your state's department of child services for more information.

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