Is it possible for a child who is now a legal adult to go after a parent for payment of back child support if no support was ever requested or filed during childhood?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Colorado child support laws where I am licensed to practice.
When dealing with child support issues, each state is unique and will have its own rules governing who may petition for child support and when they may do so.
If someone has questions regarding the ability of a person to seek child support, it is absolutely recommended that he or she contact an attorney in their state to discuss the specific laws applicable in that state.
A threshold question that must be answered is whether the child support being sought is an initial support order or if there was a proceeding for divorce or custody already initiated and determined.
For example, where I practice, a child may be the person to initiate an action to determine whether there is a father and child relationship (i.e., paternity) if the action is brought before the child’s 18th birthday except that if a child who doesn’t have a presumed father brings an action, he or she has until the age of 21 to bring an action.
So the determination of paternity can be initiated by the child and then a child support action will naturally flow from this.
According to case law in my state, a child also potentially has standing (ability) to seek an order for child support for him or herself, In re the Marriage of Conradson, 604 P.2d 701 (Colo. App. 1979).
This can be complicated, however, as a child involved in a custody or divorce proceedings will likely be represented by a Guardian ad Litem who will serve as the child’s representative and, at least in Colorado, if that is the case the child is not entitled to another attorney, In re the Marriage of Hartley, 886 P.2d 665 (Colo. 1994), and the support issues will already be handled through that case.
So it will be an unusual circumstance where a child would have to seek an independent action for child support and would likely have to initiate with an action to determine paternity.
Keep in mind each state will be different depending on its own laws and any person seeking child support in this manner should confer with an attorney in his or her own state.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.