Concerned father

My ex and I finalized our divorce back in 2005. She was living in Connecticut at the time and I was in Florida. We had both decided to give her custody at the time because she was near family that could assist her when needed. Since she lived in CT at the time, the divorce proceedings in Florida could not cover custody issues. Custody would have to be determined in a CT court.

We both decided to keep child support issues between us in order to shield our daughter from any future psychological drain concerning the divorce. I started sending her monthly payments between $100 to $200, more or less depending on what I could afford at the time. My ex knew of my financial and personal circumstances and stated that as long as something was sent, she would be satisfied. I kept up my end of the bargain. I've had to keep in contact with my ex ever since to ascertain her needs concerning our daughter's welfare.

About 2007, she moved to Texas. I continued to reside in Florida. I continued to send money to her each month. Starting in 2003, my daughter would visit me every Summer in Florida. I had to pay for the round trip flight. Whenever she came here, my current wife and I made sure she went to the dentist and re-checked her eyeglass prescription and bought new glasses if necessary. As for medical insurance, my ex was on disability and added my daughter to her funded insurance.

My daughter is due to turn 18 at the end of August 2012. My concern is that my ex might try and come after me for arrear child support if I fail to pay her money after our daughter's 18th birthday.

Can she come after me for more money even though "child support" was never filed through the court system?

I would rather send whatever money my daughter needed directly to her and forego sending money to my ex. I understand that if a child support amount was ordered through the courts, and I only paid part of said monthly total then she could come after me for the arrears.

Can my ex file for child support even though my daughter is 18? Also, can she try to get arrearage child support dating back to when the divorce was finalized in 2005? If so, wouldn't said arrearage be determined by a percentage of whatever I made each month?

I also just read about the Federal Child Support Law. Is that something I should be concerned about? I don't know what I would do if she tried to come after me for 7 years of court ordered payments! My wife and I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter, I'm in Nursing school and my wife works as a teacher. If she came after me for $25,000 right now, I'd be arrested! They would take away my driver's license so I couldn't go to work! My little daughter would have a father in prison! My wife would be left holding the bag because my ex wouldn't stop asking for money!

Please help! I'd appreciate any advice, thanks! I'm afraid that because I tried to be cordial and keep things nice between my ex and myself for the benefit of our daughter, I might have to go to jail!

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