Child support modification

Please help me understand the meaning of secondary school. From my understanding secondary school is high school and not college. My son is in his second year in college

And my ex-wife thinks that I am ordered to continue paying child support on his behalf to her. I have set a court date for May but she says I am in the wrong because she thinks

Because our son is in college I have to continue to pay. There is no agreement that requires me to continue to pay child support for my oldest son in college.

Basically my question is do I have to pay child support for my child in college when there were no prior agreement?



*** Not a lawyer ***

The common meaning of secondary school is high school. College would be called post-secondary education.

In North Carolina, court-ordered child support generally terminates when the child reaches age 18. If the child is emancipated the support may terminate early. If the child is still in primary or secondary school at age 18, support continues until graduation, age 20, or the child drops out or “fails to make satisfactory academic progress towards graduation”, whichever comes first. So if your son is a prodigy who graduated from high school at age 16, you could be paying child support even though he is in college. There’s also an exception for children who are incapable of supporting themselves.

Do note though that if there is an arrearage that you’re paying off, you’ll have to continue making payments until that is paid off. And note that, except for terminating because of graduation or reaching age 20, you probably have to have the court actually order that the necessary conditions have been met to end support.

If your child is over 18 years old and has graduated high school, your child support obligation should have terminated unless you have a contract where you have agreed otherwise.

My son is 17 and just recently graduated from Secondary School , and is the process of starting his Post Secondary Education but has not reached the age of 18.
Is my ex-spouse obligated by NC Law to continue paying for child support even though he is in college. And is ex-spouse obligated by NC Law to provide written notification that he filed a motion with the court to have a judge declare our child as emancipated because he has graduated from Secondary School at age 17 in order for him terminate the support order.?

Thank you,

Our statutes (NC Gen Stat 50 - 13.4) provides:

Payments ordered for the support of a child shall terminate when the child reaches the age of 18 except:
(1) If the child is otherwise emancipated, payments shall terminate at that time;
(2) If the child is still in primary or secondary school when the child reaches age 18, support payments shall continue until the child graduates, otherwise ceases to attend school on a regular basis, fails to make satisfactory academic progress towards graduation, or reaches age 20, whichever comes first, unless the court in its discretion orders that payments cease at age 18 or prior to high school graduation.

So, if your child graduated early (before age 18), the child support obligation will remain in place until the child turns 18.

Emancipation actions are outside the realm of our practice area, so I can’t answer your question about the procedure. But it is my understanding that the minor must be the one to move for emancipation. In other words, a parent can’t institute legal action to emancipate his child.