Suing for back child support during the separation period

Mens divorce lawyerQuestion:

Do child support laws cover me if I paid an amount of support we agreed to, but now my wife is claiming I owe her back child support?

She moved out a year ago and I have diligently paid her even though we aren’t even legally separated.

Now she is suing me for back child support. What are her chances of success?


Your question does not indicate what State you live in, as such, I’ll provide you an answer based upon the law in my home State of Missouri.

Although it sounds like you and your wife made an agreement on the side to a certain child support amount, the agreement may not be recognized by the court.

In Missouri (like most states), child support amounts are calculated with a uniform formula. This formula bases the correct amount of support on several factors, mainly your income and your wife’s income. (Calculate your estimated child support payment.)

The formula is contained in a form entitled Form 14. If the Form 14 amount indicates that amount of support you should be paying is more money than the support you have been paying, the court may order you to pay the From 14 amount.

Also, with regard to the support that you have been paying since the separation, it is best to pay the support by check so that you have a record of the payments.

If your wife alleges that you have not paid her, and you made all your payments in cash, it may be difficult for you to prove that you did make the payments and you could face an arrearage for child support.

Please understand that my opinions are based upon the limited facts that you provided to me. For a more in depth discussion of your legal rights in your jurisdiction, I urge you to contact a family law attorney immediately.

To set up an appointment with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Michelle Hughes, an Associate Attorney in the Jefferson County, Missouri office, please contact Cordell & Cordell.

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