– from Jane P. in Pewaukee, WI

Question Details:

My father and mother were divorced when I was 10 years old. My mother received custody of me, and my father was ordered to pay support. He did for several years, then nothing. We hadn't heard anything from him, and the state said they did not know of his whereabouts. I recently turned 18, and my father called. We made small talk, but he offered no explanation about what happened. He did tell me he recently moved back to Wisconsin, and where he is living. My mom struggled to raise me, and told me that she would assign her claim against my father to me. My question is, can I take him to court for child support?

Family Law Attorney Response:

I would need to know more details about the situation, but generally speaking, yes you can.

In the case of Kroeger v. Kroeger, 120 Wis. 2d 48, 353 N.W.2d 60 (Ct. App. 1984), a father had failed to pay the court ordered amount of support. Subsequently, the mother had assigned the case to her daughter when she turned 18. The father attempted to motion for a dismissal based on the statute of limitations. The court granted his motion, but the court of appeals reversed. Because the case was made within 20 years after the child's majority (adulthood), her claim was valid.

Click here to learn about child support in regards to filing bankruptcy.

It would be wise of you to seek legal counsel on this matter. Explain the details in full, one-on-one, with a family lawyer. He/she will be able to provide you with the best direction moving forward, and will represent you and your interests in court.

Dan Exner, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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