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Let's say the Family initially lived in Australia (NSW) in the mid-90s. After the divorce, the rate of child support was calculated and fixed.

Sometime later the father (paying the child support) immigrated to the United States and earns an income considerably higher than the one on which the child support was based. The mother did not seek new orders in either the Australian or United States courts.

The moment the child turned 18, the father ceased payments.

The child is now in his late 20s and has completed an Australian undergraduate degree and is currently studying a masters degree (again in Australia).

2 Questions:

  1. Is it possible/feasible for the child to retroactively sue the father for the child-support that was not paid throughout the 90s and 2000s?
  2. Is it possible/feasible for the child to sue the father to get him to pay for his Australian university fees/debts which have accrued (and continue to accrue) over the 2010s?
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Is it possible/feasible for the child to retroactively sue the father for the child-support that was not paid throughout the 90s and 2000s?

No. Child support is owed to the custodian parent, not the child. If at all, your mother would have to sue. Chances are, your parents, had a child support agreement in place and as long as your father abided by the terms of this agreement, there is absolutely nothing to sue about.

Is it possible/feasible for the child to sue the father to get him to pay for his Australian university fees/debts which have accrued (and continue to accrue) over the 2010s?

No. There is no legal requirement for any parent (divorced or not) to pay for college education. Once you are a legal adult you are responsible for your own expenses and actions. That's what "adult" means.

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  • Hilmar, this is true in the US. However, I have recently learned via this site, that Canada at least has provisions for enforcing supporting of university students through their 21st birthday. I'm not sure if Australia has something similar. That said, such a provision would have to be in the court order, so your answer still stands. – sharur Jun 9 at 13:40
  • Some US states require the parent to provide support through the first few years of college, directly to the 'child'. Oregon is one example. Paradoxically, neither parent is obliged to support the child at all past 18 if they haven't divorced. – Ask About Monica Jun 9 at 20:34

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