End of child support

Child support is supposed to pay for the portion of your bills that covers supporting the child. In NC child support ends once a child has graduated from high school and turned 18 unless you have some other prior agreement. Your child is now an adult. I realize that in most cases 18 yr olds may still be living at home, but they can contribute even if they are in college by working part-time jobs, over breaks and summer vacations.

NO! NO! NO! My child support was supposed to cover half of my bills. Half the electric bill! Half the water! Half of my car insurance! Half my house insurance! Half the groceries! Without it, I can’t pay the total cost of these things! The Court looked at these things as if my child was employed! I did not get “extra” just for the sake of the child! THERE IS NO EXTRA MONEY! And when it ends, I can’t make it!

This is the definition of basic child support obligation according to NC:
“This is the amount of money used to meet basic subsistence needs of food, clothing, shelter, medical, transportation, and educational needs of a child, not extraordinary expenses. It is determined based on the North Carolina Child Support Guidelines. This amount is calculated based on the combined income of both parents and the number of children being counted. (The guidelines count only the children for whom support is sought, not all of the children that the parents might be supporting.)”

It is good that you are thinking ahead to when child support will end. If you are going to be in a dire situation without child support then it may be best to start planning now on how you can either change/reduce your expenses or increase your income. I really don’t mean that to sound harsh. Perhaps your ex-spouse will provide some support to your child on his/her own.

The court didn’t look at the situation “as if your child was employed” the courts looked at your child remaining as close as possible to the standard of living when the father was living in the household until he is legally no longer obligated to support them. Child support is what it means…support for the child, not the ex-wife.

Having a child leave the home or “age out” is the economic equivalent of having your college roommate move out after graduation. The rent is still what it always was, but the roommate has given notice and is no longer paying. You either need to find a new roommate to carry the expenses, or consider moving into a different apartment, figuratively speaking.

I’m sorry that you are unable to make it without the child support, but I do agree with mal…plan ahead and look at your options for when that child support ends. Perhaps there’s a non-profit agency out there that can assist you with planning the transition and counsel you through the difficulties. Anyone know of one?

Oh well. Thanks for the clarification. Guess I do need to try to figure out how I am going to live, but it is hard enough now as it is. I am too old to start another career and will be 56 when the child support ends. My income will be reduced by almost half. I’ve already sold one house and reduced my lifestyle. Guess I’ll be selling the one I’m in now in a couple of years. Ex has complete control of the UTMA account set up for my child’s college expenses, so my child will be ok. Dad is wealthy. Without child support, my income is pretty meager. Lost 20 years of experience due to marriage. Pretty scary, but obviously, nothing I can do. Thanks.

ok, the problem here is that you have seen child support as a portion of your income. It is not income, if it was it would be taxable. You have been getting tax-free money for however many years to help support your child. It sounds as though provisions have been made for college expenses so you will need to reduce your expenses or find a job (or a better paying job) to support yourself.

If he is wealthy and thereby I assume the supporting spouse and you were the dependent why did he not have to pay alimony. I remember you stated he committed marital fault.

Did you get some sort of alimony in the form of property transfer or retirement transfer.

I do feel for you but like the others have said you can not rely on your CS to pay your bills once the youngest is gone. And yes, it is not fair. I am in the same boat. My CS is more than my SS and yes a lot of it goes towards paying the household bills along with keeping the standard of living for the children. But whether we like it or not, and whether we feel it is fair or not, it is what it is. So, it is best to prepare now.

Unfortunately, child support cannot be converted into alimony. You can address the issue of alimony before a divorce is granted, but not after.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit radio.rosen.com for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
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Make sure you get his Social Security benefit when you retire. If you have been married for 10 years or more, you can elect to get SS based on your ex-spouse’s earnings instead of your own earnings. This might help when you are 62 or 65.

Also, sell your house and put money into an IRA.

You could apply for social services benefits. Or you could get a roommate or rent a room in your house, or move in with someone else.

Good luck. I will be where you are in a few years when my kids are out of the house.

In two years, my child support will end. Without it, I can’t make ends meet. Is it ever possible to convert child support into alimony?
Do the Courts ever consider the fact that the child support I received was necessary for me to be able to pay my bills and that my child support was factored into simply my ability to pay my bills? The amount I received was actually more than the alimony. What am I supposed to do??? Thanks!