Child support and modification of Child support


Is there any case where child support is continued passed age 18? What if the child is handicapped? If the child has a parent with conservortorship over this child who rec’s her income from a trust does the child support end at age 18. would a judge continue it for any reason. I was told by a lawyer that is ends no matter who at age 18? If that is the case why would a judge allow legal writing in an agreement to pay child support until the youngest child is 18 when the oldest is over 22? Is that even legal if the support in NC ends at age 19?


In North Carolina, the child support obligation will cease when the child reaches the age of majority (18). There is no requirement for parents to pay child support for disabled children past the age of 18. There are, however, two situations in which child support can run past the age of majority.

One such situation is that of a child who has not yet, as of age 18, graduated from high school. Provided the child is enrolled in secondary school, child support will continue until the child graduates from school, ceases to attend school on a regular basis, fails to make sufficient academic progress, or reaches age twenty - whichever comes first.

The second situation is a parent’s written agreement to pay support past the age of 18 - a parent can always agree to assume an obligation greater than what the law requires. An example of this would be a separation agreement that provides child support until a child reaches 25, or requires a parent to pay for a child’s college tuition. If such a contract is valid and enforceable, the post-majority obligation spelled out in the contract can be imposed by the court.


In this case the child is going to be 22 in Sept and still getting child support. Why would a judge allow language to pay until the youngest is age 18 for both kids? An agreement was not signed between the parties and Child Support told us only the court can change it.


What do you mean when you say the judge is allowing it? What legal document controls your child support? Did the judge draft your order on child support or did you enter a consent order? Please clarify.


No the judge didn’t write it, but she looked over it. It was the child support order submitted by my ex-spouse’s attorney stating that child support continues until the youngest child is 18. There are two children one is 22 the other is still a minor right now. So that is why I asked about Child support; if one of the kids is already over that age of majority why was that language included in the order stating that support for both kids continue until the youngest is 18. I hope I am being clear. Sorry if not. Thank you for your comments.


Based on what you have explained, it sounds like you entered a consent order. A consent order is an agreement, signed by both parties, that is also signed by the judge. Consent orders are similar to separation agreements in that they reflect an agreement by the parties reached without litigation, however they are signed by the judge and therefore enforceable through the powers of contempt. One exception to the rule that child support ceases at 18, as I stated previously, is when the parties agree to continue a child support obligation beyond the age of 18. If the language in your consent order states you will pay beyond 18, then you have agreed to do so. The judge didn’t order this, you agreed to it and the judge merely approved your agreement.


The document that I am talking about is not stated as being a consent order, but a custody and child support order; it has a cover sheet for child support. It appears to be a form. It is signed by the Judge and my lawyer signed it saying he read and approved it as to form. It states that Child support will be paid until the youngest child is age 18. Youngest is still a minor but oldest is over age 20. Having said all that does that mean Child Support has to continue until the youngest child is 18 eventhough the oldest is over 20?


A judge cannot order a party to pay child support for a child beyond the age of 18, but a judge can approve an order where the parties have agreed to do so. For instance, if you had a hearing on child support, and the judge drafted the order, the judge does not have the power to impose a child support obligation beyond the age of 18.

You can file a motion to modify child support, and list as your reason to modify that one child has reached the age of majority and request that the figure be reduced to only provide child support for one child.


Thank you for clarifying that. I guess my only question is why was the language used to pay until youngest child was 18? I did not enter into any agreement that I am aware of, so I don’t think any consent order was done. I was just curious as to why that was in the child support order. It was submitted by the lawyer of my ex-spouse,


I can’t speak to why this specific language was used. I can only assume her attorney drafted it that way so that she would be able to receive child support longer.


Thank you for clarifying that for me. I was thinking it was done to prolong support. You do a great job answering questions by annoying posters like me.

Have a great day.


This depends on your support agreement. If it is written in it and you signed it you have to pay.