Lewiston, ME asked in Family Law and Child Support for Maine

Q: What are my options if I'm taken to court for back child support after 11 years

My ex wife is taking me to court. My second child was born after our divorce , we never had agreement signed for child support. I've been paying for my first child all this time through the court order and gave money towards my second child's needs, but now after 11 years she wants back child support. I've given her the money over the years but now I dont have a proof. I've always been around and kids spent every weekend at my house. She waited all this year, and now it is a Hugh amount .. What are my rights here I wasnt hiding or not paying I feel it is not OK for her to take money from me over the years and now feel for back child support?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Joe Lewis
Joe Lewis
  • Portland, ME
  • Licensed in Maine

A: Hi there.

Tough situation, of course, but there is good news and bad news for you.

The good news is that the courts will only look back over the past six years, not the full 11. The other good news is that many payments you made to her toward support of your second child (clothing, education, medical bills, etc.) can be credited as back support that was actually paid. More good news is that you won't have to pay it all at once. Finally, the court has a lot of discretion as far as what award it makes. You can make a case for a break of some sort based on financial circumstances or by agreement of the parties. (This is where a good lawyer comes in!)

The bad news is that the law provides the court authority to determine a balance due for the last six years, and you are not going to be able to make it just go away based on arguments like "she waited too long" or "I had the kid with me a lot." Your goal now is to manage the award based on the numbers.

Best of luck to you!

Robert Guillory
Robert Guillory

A: she is not entitled to back child support for the second child. First she has to prove it is your child. if she wanted support she should have filed a petition for determination of parental rights to have you determined as the father.

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