Child Support Arrearages-Will they ever go away?

Child support arrearages are support obligations that were not previously paid.  Arrearages do not terminate once the original support obligation is over; they must be paid off over time, even if the child(ren) are now over 18, until they are paid in full (you cannot file bankruptcy on your child support arrearages either).  Arrearages can build up quickly and can take months or years to eliminate as interest accrues on arrearages. The support you pay continues to go to the person you owed the payments to.  However, you should not be paying for any new support obligations at this point, so make sure that the support you are paying is only for the back support you owe from years past.

When you are in arrears on support, the state may take a number of steps to force you to pay your arrearage, including garnish your wages and apply your tax refund to your arrearage.

The best way to determine how to eliminate your arrearage is to first check with the Child Support office to determine how much arrearage you still owe and ensure that this is the correct amount (calculation errors can be made by the state).

If the amount owed is incorrect from some reason, such as you were held liable for support after your child was declared emancipated by the court or you were held liable for support in an amount different from the court-ordered amount, you may petition the court to fix your child support obligation.

If the amount you owe is correct, then you are obligated to pay that amount in full eventually. You may be able to contact the child support division of the prosecutor’s office to discuss settling on your arrearage as well.

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