Thirty-four-year-old divorce leads to back child support lawsuit

How long can a child support dispute go on for? In a strange case, a 75-year-old woman is looking to sue her 77-year-old ex-husband for back child support more than thirty years after the two had divorced.

Tied together in legal battles since 1977, the couple has been divorced for 34 years. The man owes the woman thousands of dollars in child support, according to a ruling from December 1977. Since he never paid her, the interest has accrued on the owed amount which has inflated the back child support payments to more than $100,000.

The woman tried calling her ex-husband to get him to settle the dispute. But the phone call was not well-received. Without any resolution with her ex-husband, the woman decided to take the legal route and went before a judge to seek enforcement of the child support agreement.

Normally, court orders from more than three decades ago are not enforceable, but in the case of child support it is just the opposite. The woman did not know this until a few years ago when she was filing lawsuits against her ex-husband for part of the money that came from the sale of their home.

In an attempt to collect the money owed her, she filed a lien motion on a home that was in her ex-husband's name. His mother lived there up until her death when the house was deeded to the man's second wife until she passed away as well. Now the woman is suing the estate for the property.

The woman, who will seek punitive damages on top of the child support owed to her, is bitter because she was forced into applying for welfare after the divorce so that she could support herself and her children.

Source: New York Post online, "75-year-old woman suing 77-year-old ex over unpaid child support 34 years after divorce," Philip Messing, 11 July 2011

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