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FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 23479
Experience:  9 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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Ive been divorced since 2003 and I have two children. Since

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I've been divorced since 2003 and I have two children. Since then I've been supporting my two children with very little child support. At present I have one child, 17, residing in my home with me, my other son, 22, has moved on. However, in 2010 my ex filed custody of my youngest son in exchange that I take care of the older one and he takes care of the younger one financially. Well my younger son, 17, stayed with him for 2 weeks and moved back with me, this was immediately following the court in 2010. I've never went back to court or hired an attorney because it took so much time and money that I just wanted to rid all the anxiety of these problems to keep my son's life happy. Now I am ready to fight again and would like to know what is the first thing I need to do. My son has lived with me, really, since our divorce in 2003 and continued living with me after my husband lied and said that he lived with him since 2010, but I have not received any child support since then. It's been 3 years since my son has been living with me and I have proof from the school he's attended as I am his sole supporter since this school is private. Do I regain custody of my son and file the court to sue for monies owed since 2010 for child support? Or do I go to Child Support Enforement in Pinellas County, FL and apply for child support? Please advise as to what I should do?
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. Do you have a court order for child support or was the support informal and agreed upon by you and him outside of court?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No I do not have any child support; at one time after the divorce in 2003 I did receive about $156 monthly for both children. However, we both agreed in 2010 that he would take support and have the youngest child, now 17, and I would take the older child, now 22. After that the 17 year old only stayed with him for 2 weeks and I never anything after that.

Tina, thank you for the additional information. In Florida, child support is paid until the age of 18, unless ordered otherwise by the court. Since your child is still a minor and under the age of 18, you can certainly petition the court and file for child support to be ordered, making the father pay. The clerk of court in the county where you reside has the necessary forms but I have also provided you a link, as well:

As far as the matter with the other child, now age 22, the Judge may not be inclined to order any retroactive support. I have provided the Florida Statute as well, which address retroactive support but that deals with a minor and when the parents live apart. The fact that support was never ordered and the child is now a legal adult, may prevent you from collecting. Subection (17) speaks about this, in the statute. If there was previously a court order in place, then you would have ever legal right to collect the arrears plus interest on the money owed. However, if you first want to try and have it ordered for the 22 year old, it may not be possible.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

When I file a petition with the court for child support can I also ask to get get retroactive support since 2010 for the 17 year old? Do I explain that this child only stayed with his father for 2 weeks and I've been taking care of him since 2010?

Yes, it is something that you can ask the Judge to order and explain that there was an informal agreement and the father failed to comply with that, placing the financial burden solely on you, for all these years. If you refer to the statute which I provided, I believe the Judge can issue it for 2 years back.
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