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Forgiveness of Child support Arrears

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There have been a flurry of questions posed on some of the “ask lawyer” web sites like AVVO and LAWYERS.COM about whether a person can file a motion or request with the court to be relieved of their built up child support arrearages. The answer is no. The only person who can compromise or forgive the amount owed in back support is the person to whom the money is owed. Usually, that is the custodial parent, but in some cases, where the person may have been receiving governmental assistance or benefits, part of the arrearages may also be owed to the state. In other words, there will be child support arrearages accrued, and some of the money is owed to the parent and some of the money may be owed to the state.

The parent to whom the money is owed can agree to compromise that amount of money or waive it. The state to whom a portion of the money is owed, can agree to compromise that amount of money or waive it. The court cannot enter an order making the state or the parent to whom the money is owed to give it up or waive it. Any such waiver or compromise must be by agreement of all of the necessary parties.

The way these cases typically get resolved is by a stipulation and order where the person who owes the money, makes an offer in compromise to be forgiven any remaining balance of the arrearages owed. That is to be encouraged because it gets a portion of the money to the parent who is owed the money, waives the balance owed and stops the interest being charged on the unpaid balance.

For more information on this article, contact Karp & Iancu.

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