Support after High school


I don’t think that she can get support through the child’s college years. She can ask, and depending on the judge who knows what will happen. However, I can tell you I live in Virginia and know for a fact that child support ends when the child graduates high school or turns 19 years old, whichever comes first. Unless you signed an agreement to extend support I don’t see how she could get it extended. Good Luck.


If the order is in NC, you should not have a problem. As long as you did not agree to pay for college in any separation, divorce, or any other papers. If you did agree, NC can enforce these, but NC can’t enact orders that you pay for college. At least this was what our lawyer told us.


I have never signed anything or agreed to any support after 18 or high school. The support order states it will end when the child is 18 or graduates high school. She plans to bring the 18 year old to court with her to say she is going to college and wants me to pay for it. By no means am I well off financially to be able to do this and cannot believe this would be approved by a judge. I have supported her without fail for 18 years and believe that this should be the end of it!


Are there any NC court cases that the mother was awarded college expenses for the children to be paid by the father? Or any cases that the mother requested this and was denied?


ok, maybe I’m a little jaded here but what’s going on with financial aid. If she’s 18 and has graduated hasn’t she already applied to college? Been accepted? In many cases she should have been better off applying for financial aid based on your ex-'s income. Did mom or not apply for financial aid (grants or scholarships)? If the mom is threatening you in this manner you may be best served to consult with your attorney so you are prepared. Did mom even ask you if you were planning on contributing to college costs or has she just moved directly to threats?


She got my motion for recalculation and threatened this immediately. I wasnt even aware the child would be attending college.


Here is a similar thread that the attorney (Janet Fritts) responded to a couple of years ago. As you can see, unless you agreed to something different in your separation agreement your obligation is over. Your ex-wife is probably looking for ways to finance college. Maybe you can work this out without all this anxiety,especially since you didn’t realize your daughter was attending college?

My husband’s attorney has told him that he may have to pay child support until his daughter is 21, if she goes on to college! Is this true??? I was certain that child support ended at age 18 or at age 20 if the child was still in high school. I can’t believe that a father would have to continue to pay child support through college! What is you opinion on this?



3033 Posts
Posted - 08/04/2004 : 17:35:56

Dear nwkltl:

In North Carolina, you are correct, unless he has agreed to something else in a separation agreement. You can find the termination of child support information at NCGS 50-13.4©(2).

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607


Parents who are still married are not required to pay for a childs college so unless you agreed in writing to do so you should be OK.



I have a court date in a couple of weeks that I requested a modification of child support due to the fact my oldest daughter graduated high school and reached the age of 18. I will continue to pay support for my 16 year old. The mother has stated she will be coming to court in answer to my motion with a request to continue support through the 18 year old’s college education. The mother and children live in VA., but the order is in NC. I have read the statute (50-13.4) and do not see how she can get support any longer. Please advise as the court date is coming up and will hire an attorney if I absolutely need to. I thought this would be a fairly straightforward motion for recalculation. Thanks for any advise!