I have been paying my Ex per month for child support based on an agreement between her and I. She stopped working months back, and her unemployment ran out so now she wants to take me to court for child support, thinking she could get more. #1, can she ask for back support if I can show we had an agreement (even if it's via text or email)? #2, should I stop paying her until a court agreement is in place? I've been trying to avoid courts, but if she's taking it to this level I'm going for official 50% custody, as I have been paying based on that amount but only getting her 20-25% of the time.
1 Answer from Attorneys
#1. The court will exercise jurisdiction only from the date of filing the petition, not before. #2. It's up to you; you really don't need to in my opinion. Perhaps she could bring a contract claim for breach of contract in civil court but I don't think it would be successful. However, will your child suffer if you stop paying? It takes money to buy food, clothing, school supplies, etc. Note that she has every right to ask a court to order child support. Child support is standard in divorce cases with minor children involved. As for custody, the court will not order joint custody unless both parents ask for it. You should sit down with a family law attorney to get a better understanding of the law, your rights, and what is reasonable under your circumstance.