Can you ever get out of paying back child support? The answer to this question depends on many circumstances. Let’s explore one of the more common defenses.
Usually child support obligations arise under the Uniform Parentage Act when parents aren’t married but have a child. According to the law a noncustodial parent may be obligated for child support retroactive to the birth of the child. This is potentially a huge financial obligation. However, there is a way out.
Before we share this with you let’s also address a situation during divorce. Although some judges try and award back support in a divorce situation this is just wrong. Child support doesn’t apply until the divorce is final (up until the divorce there is a different calculation…interim division of income).
Now back to the retroactive support situation. One argument that we find great success with is what is called the equitable defenses. Defenses like laches, equitable estoppel or unjust enrichment can serve as a vehicle of defense. In a nutshell, these defenses all rely on the argument that the non-custodial parent was short changed by the wrongful conduct of the custodial parent in preventing the noncustodial parent from having interaction or time with the child. The argument continues that it would be unjust and unfair to award retroactive support and effectively reward the wrongdoing of the parent with a windfall of financial support.