My ex-wife, of about 6 years, wants to start child support. We agreed upon a separation agreement (had signed off and notarized with an attorney present) at that time, about 2008. That’s the only legal document we have. There was to be no child support at the time, only certain items we listed within that document which bound us both. We also had a form which she and I agreed upon on our own (not legally drawn up, etc). Now (fast forward) she wants me to begin support because she pays more expenditures than me (based on OUR own drawn up document) since things have changed like child being older, etc. The child (age 17) lives with Mom pre-doninantly even though we have joint legal custody (we agreed that it would be better for child to be with her due to transportation needs at that time in history). Since that time, I (Dad) have wanted, and expressed numerous times, for child to be with me more. I’ve explained that that arrangement (50/50, etc) would alleviate a lot of her extra expenses. She will not hear of it? Never has allowed it. The child is basically neutral—doesn’t want to displease anyone and is basically comfortable with the present arrangement. Bottom line?? Do I have to start paying her now based on his nights there? Or, COULD the child start splitting time and I avoid payments to her or what? Also, does child support end at age 18 (and upon HS graduation?)
Without reading the separation agreement, I can’t advise as to what you need to pay or whether she can return to court to get a new order for child support. If you want to modify the child custody
arrangement, you can file an action for custody and have the court determine what the schedule should be. Regardless of the number of overnights, the child support guidelines take more into consideration than just the number of overnights. You can look at our child support calculator to get an idea of what your child support obligation may be depending upon your incomes, expenses and the number of overnights.
Yes, child support generally ends at 18 or completion of high school, whichever is later. Review our article on theduration of child support for more information.