**Child support arrears live forever** in Florida. No statute of limitations comes along to wipe the slate clean, relieving a noncustodial parent from responsibility for paying back support simply because of the passage of time.
When a child becomes emancipated, she moves beyond the legal requirement for support from her parents. She’s reached the age of majority and is considered an adult. Florida’s age of majority is 18 if the child has graduated from high school. If she hasn’t, she becomes an adult on her 19th birthday or at graduation, whichever occurs first.
Most parents are obligated to pay support for their unemancipated, or minor, children through Florida’s child support services. If a parent falls behind, the court automatically orders a judgment against him for arrears. The state tacks on interest to the debt, and the judgment remains until the entire amount of back child support is paid.
When a child emancipates in Florida, support payments stop accruing, but past-due child support doesn’t go away. The state can continue indefinitely to use all means at its disposal to collect the money due to the custodial parent. If a noncustodial parent dies still owing back support, his estate becomes legally liable for the debt.
If Florida is trying to collect past due support from you, you might have a defense, but you'll likely need the help of a lawyer. You could try to prove the legal concept of equitable estoppel to the court. For example, if you had a private agreement with your ex to waive the arrears and she didn’t honor it. Or, you might be able to prove laches if she waited so long to collect that she no longer has a legal right to do so. For this defense, you must establish that collecting back child support from you at this point would be grossly unfair.