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Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce by Emily Doskow

Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce by Emily Doskow

Author:Emily Doskow
Language: eng
Format: mobi, epub
Tags: Divorce & Separation, Family Law, Law
ISBN: 9781413317305
Publisher: NOLO
Published: 2008-08-29T04:00:00+00:00


Chapter 8 • Child Support

01

How Long Support Lasts

Generally, parents’ support obligations end when their youngest child becomes an

adult in the eyes of the law—usually at 18, but sometimes older depending on the

state. However, some states require parents to continue paying child support as

long as the child is a full-time student in high school, college, or trade school, up

to a certain age. And many parents, believing that a college degree is vital to their

child’s success, voluntarily continue paying as long as the child is in school or until

the child reaches a certain age, like 22.

NO GOOD DeeD GOeS UNPUNISHeD

One cooperative divorced mother agreed to share her son’s college expenses with her

ex-spouse on an equal basis, even though her ex made more than three times as much

as she did. After the son enrolled in college, the father got a job at the same school,

which entitled the son to significant tuition discounts. Did the father and son pass those discounts along to Mom? They did not—in fact, they colluded in preparing false tuition

statements showing the full amount of tuition, rather than the reduced amount that the

son actually owed. When the mother finally got wise, she sued the father and son for

fraud and breach of contract—and won on appeal. Needless to say, she was relieved of

any further obligation to support her son.

When you’re negotiating about the duration of child support and considering

the issue of your child’s college education, it’s important to consider carefully

the impact on your own retirement planning. Remember that there are lots of

resources out there for college students, including student loans, grants, and school

financial aid.

Certain events end your child support obligation no matter what else is going on

in your child’s life or yours. You are no longer obligated to pay support if your child:

• becomes emancipated, meaning that before the legal age of adulthood in

your state, the child goes to court and is declared an “emancipated minor”—

someone with the same rights as a legal adult

• joins the military, or

• gets married.



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