YOU BE THE JUDGE

The Facts

Rita Marie Greene and Charles Thomas Cutler were married in 1962 and had two children. Rita and Charles divorced in June 6, 1966 and Charles was ordered to pay the sum of $50 per child per month until the children "are of legal age or otherwise emancipated" or until further order of the court.

The support judgment was never renewed or modified.

In 1966 Rita contacted the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office seeking their assistance in enforcing the support judgment. After five years they gave up and closed their file. Once Los Angeles County ceased to pursue collection of the support, Rita did not attempt any further collection efforts until 1996 when she sued Charles for back support.

At the initial hearing on the motion held on December 2, 1996 in Bakersfield, testimony was taken from both sides and Commissioner Theresa Goldner ordered further briefing.

After further hearing, Commissioner Goldner issued her ruling and found that Rita had not waived her right to collect support arrearages, and that Charles could not invoke concealment as a defense.  

On July 27, 1998, Commissioner Goldner reversed her earlier ruling and held that Charles's support obligation ended when the children reached 18 years of age and that Rita was barred from collecting support payments for both children in 1991 and 1992 because by that time all past due support payments were more than 10 years overdue.

You Decide

Does Charles owe back child support? <<Click Here for the Answer>>



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