Statute of Limitations and Child Support

An often overlooked argument to use for child support arrearages is that of statute of limitations. Statutes of limitations are laws passed by legislative bodies in common law systems to set the maximum time after an event within which legal proceedings may be initiated. For child support this means that there is a time period in which back child support can go backward. There is a limit as to how far back a court order can go for back child support. When the period of time specified in a statute of limitations passes, a claim might no longer be filed, or, if filed, may be liable to be struck out if the defense against that claim is, or includes, that the claim is time-barred as having been filed after the statutory limitations period. The intention of these laws is to facilitate resolution within a “reasonable” length of time. In New Mexico, the statute of limitations on a judgment already in place is 14 years. Therefore, if child support is older than 14 years old from a prior judgment there may be a valid defense against payment of obligations older than 14 years old. Analysis of a statute of limitations also requires the examination of any associated statute of repose, tolling provisions, and exclusions. Due to these complexities it is best to talk with one of our child support experts at the Justice Legal Group to protect your rights.

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