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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Woman Can’t Collect Ancient Child Support

(CN) - A Virginia woman is too late to collect child support that began to accrue more than 40 years ago, the state Supreme Court ruled.

After a 1966 divorce, the court ordered Edward Adcock to pay Mildred $30 a week until the youngest of their three children reached maturity in 1982.

After getting remarried, Mildred Houchens asked the Virginia Department of Child Service Enforcement to reopen the divorce and set up a payment plan.

Once the matter reached the Alexandria circuit court in 2008, Adcock responded that a 20-year statute of limitations barred the department from collecting from him.

The court disagreed, stating that the statute of limitations did not apply to the collection of child support arrears and interest. The Virginia Court of Appeals agreed in a split ruling.

That decision unraveled last week, however, before the Virginia Supreme Court.

"The judgments created as a result of a payor failing to make payments on the date ordered by an ongoing support order are limited in their enforcement to 20 years from the date each missed payment becomes a judgment by operation of law, unless a statutorily authorized extension is obtained," Justice Bernard Goodwyn wrote for the court.

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