When trying to figure out whether your child support obligations are to continue, there are two situations to consider. The first situation is pertaining to a child support order for one child. The second situation is where there is more than one child in the order.
I only have one child. What happens when he/she turns 18?
Generally, parents paying child support are no longer obligated to support a child once they turn 18. This age may be extended if the child reaches age 18 and is still in high school. Here, the support will continue until the child graduates or reaches 20 years old, whichever comes first.
Additionally, if the child is emancipated, child support payments shall terminate at the time of the emancipation.
What if I have more than one child, and one of them turns 18 or graduates high school?
Unlike an order for one child, when an order pertains to multiple children, the order doesn’t automatically terminate or decrease. In order to ensure that you don’t pay support for the child who has aged out, you must file a request to modify the payment amount for the remaining children.
Keep in mind that North Carolina Law (N.C. General Statute § 50-13.10) provides that once child support is due, you must pay it. At the point that a payment is due, a court may not be remove, reduce, or modify the amount owed in any way for any reason. If you would like the child support to be modified, you have to file a motion to modify and give notice to all parties involved BEFORE the payment is due.
No matter what, DO NOT stop making payments until your support obligation has been officially terminated by the court. You will be responsible for any missed payments and may be found in contempt of court if you stop paying.
Our Family Law Attorney can help you modify your child support order.
Modifying a child support order may look easy, but it can be a very complicated, time consuming process. You may want to consider hiring an attorney to help you get through it. Our family law attorney is experienced in child support modifications and can help you navigate through the process and save you time.
At Miller Law Group, we understand that your situation may be complicated, but we are ready to help! Contact us today to schedule a time to consult on your case and determine what your legal options are for child support!