Texas parents may be surprised at the timing of a lawsuit involving Meadowlark Lemon, the former Harlem Globetrotters star. His former wife and his son have sued for $250,000 in back child support, alleging that Lemon never made the required payments. His ex-wife notes that only one year's payments were made after the couple divorced in 1977.
The action is pending in Connecticut and is slated to be heard in August. It alleges that the ordered support payments of $2,500 per month were stopped after one year of compliance. Texas parents dealing with support issues might wonder about the validity of such an action with the passage of nearly four decades since the divorce. Each state has its own statutes of limitations related to issues such as child custody and child support, and these details can play a major role in determining whether such delayed action is permissible. Some states may not have any limits on the collection of child support arrears.
In Texas, the state's family code permits action on child support arrears up to 10 years after a child reaches adulthood or up to 10 years after a legal support obligation is concluded. If past collection efforts have failed, a parent to whom support was due should pay attention to these limits to ensure that any prospective action to enforce payment is brought within the appropriate time frames.
A custodial parent who has unsuccessfully attempted to obtain back support from an ex-spouse might later seek assistance from an attorney. By waiting until the support-owing parent is in a better financial position, it may be possible to successfully collect funds that could not be paid at an earlier time. However, it is important to keep statutory time limitations in mind.
Source: ABC News, "Harlem Globetrotters Legend Sued Over Child Support Payments", Associated Press, May 19, 2015