Child support & age

Normally you are obligated to pay support until they graduate from high school unless you have some other agreement in place. Keep in mind that to modify child support you must file the necessary papers. If you want it to take effect soon after graduation I would suggest you file those papers prior to graduation. You can get the school to write up a letter that states that your daughter will be graduating on a certain date and attach this to the modifcation. Last yr we went through this and filed in early June right before graduation and it wasn’t until August that the reduction occurred.

Child support does not automatically terminate at age 18. It will continue until the child has reached the age of 18 AND has graduated from high school, unless they are not making satisfactory progress towards graduation. That means if they drop out of school child support would end at age 18. It would automatically terminate at age 20, even if the child was still in high school.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Voice: 704.307.4600
Main Fax: 704.943.0044

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

My daughter is 17 1/2 and I would like to know if I only have to pay child support until she turns 18, or until she finishes high school, which is another year.