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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 111657
Experience:  Experienced attorney: Family law, Estate Law, SS Law etc.
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This is a California case. Is a signed stipulation to pay

Customer Question

This is a California case. Is a signed stipulation to pay child support always legally binding? This is not about me trying to skirt my parental responsibly, but about me trying to straighten out such an egregious situation that has plagued me for many years, all stemmed from the mother of my son applied for, and received aid from the County under false pretense years ago, all unbeknownst to me. The stipulation that I signed ONLY came into existence 18 years ago as the direct result of the mother's filings for public assistance after our son was born, although since my son's birth everyone had been living under my roof, and ALL bills were paid by me for YEARS to come. Utimately when our son was about 16 months old, DCSS sent me a leter, told me that I had to go to its office in down town SD. That was the first time I ever heard of DCSS (it was called something else back then) and although I knew nothing about the mother's deeds in this matter, I was told by a DCSS case manager that since I was the father, I was financially responsible to pay the County back for the money my son's mother got from them. Not given a choice in the matter, I signed the form they gave me, believing that it was only my agreement to reimburse the County for what the mother had gotten. I absolutely had no clue that the document included a term that states I will also begin make monthly child support payment to the County as well. Why would any sane person agree to pay child support to the mother of his child, whilst he has been taking cared of them all? Anyhow, I came home, told my son's mom about my interesting meeting with DCSS, and unequivocally told her to close her filings with the County. She represented to me that she will take care of it, and I believed her. Fast forward to Jan 2016, after reviewing the case, hearing evidences and estimonies a Family Court Commissioner presiding over the case alluded that the original filings for aid by the mother from 18 years ago appeared to be questionable in cause, and the Commissioner's assessment was so concurred by the DCSS attorney - since the County's attorney contributed that "the case should be referred to the welfare fraud department for investigation". What is the validity of the "obviously unknowingly" signed stipulation in this case? It was after all nonethelessly stemmed from the mother's falsified filings for aid, essentially a product of her own dirty hand. Please know that my son has always been receiving constant emotional and financial care from me since birth. I have always been there for him throughout the years. This is a case of extreme greed and callousness of the mother, and I have been the victim throughout. Sincerely.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
We eventually went our own way as our son turned four. I entered into a verbal agreement with the mom, that were were to equally take turn (week by week) to care for our son, time and moneywise. I additional took on the entire cost for his preschool child care cost. Two years after that, I lost my employment and had to move to OC for work. As soon as I moved away I voluntarily gave/sent the mom 300/mo to help with the cost of having to take care of our son beyond the original term of 50/50 shared custody agreement. I also began to make weekly drives to SD from OC to spend time with ny son. This went on like that for about three years.
While all of this was going on, from 1998 to 2005 not once did the County send me collection letter to tell me that I failed to make any and all child support payments (I've been asserting from the very beginning that I didn't know of it), not once did the mother ask me why she didnt receive the monthy child support checks from me... Yet now 19 years after the fact, when the County and the mother conveniently ignored all the facts and events leading to this day, and they want to stick me for arreage and compounded interests for the allegedly unpaid child support payments from 1998 to 2005.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 7 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
A signed stipulation for payment of child support in CA is a binding contractual agreement, which can be enforced by the court as either an order of the court or as a breach of contract claim. The only thing that can void such a stipulation is if the stipulation was obtained by fraud or intentionally giving you false information to induce you to sign. The problem is that while you may have been able to take it to court 18 years ago when it happened, but now after this long has passed, I am afraid that you cannot challenge this agreement/stipulation. You had to challenge it back when this was going on or within 2 years of entering into the agreement.