What is the statute of limitations for filing of child support arrearages?
My ex-wife is claiming I owe $40,000 in back child support because she says my son wasn't living with me during part of this period, which is a lie that I can prove with evidence (school records, plane tickets, etc.).
Where I practice, the Texas Family Code states that a motion to render judgment for past-due child support arrearages must be filed no later than ten years after the date on which (i) the child becomes an adult or (ii) the support obligation terminates under the child support order. Tex. Fam. Code § 157.005.
Thus, the court retains jurisdiction to reduce child support arrearages to a cumulative money judgment until ten years after either of the above occur.
Under Texas law to reduce child-support arrearages to a cumulative money judgment a party must file a motion to confirm arrearages. Once the motion has been filed the matter will be set for hearing, and the responding party, which would be you in this matter, should receive a notice of the hearing.
At any time before the hearing you can file an Answer to the allegations. The hearing is your time to tell your side of the story. At the hearing you will be able to testify, present evidence, and call witnesses to support your understanding of the situation. After hearing all of the evidence, the court will make a finding regarding the arrearages.
However, if a Default Judgment has already been obtained against you for the arrearages, then you only have a limited time to appeal the decision of the court.
Generally, the court will lose power to hear your motion on the 31st day after the judgment is signed by the court. So if you wanted to appeal your arrearages judgment you would need to do so in most cases within that time frame.
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Jennifer Hankinson is a Staff Attorney in the Dallas, Texas office of Cordell & Cordell, where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Hankinson is licensed in the state of Texas. Ms. Hankinson received her bachelors’ degrees in both Finance and Political Science from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California. She later received her Juris Doctor from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Washington, where she graduated Cum Laude.