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Do i still pay child support if my daughter is 18 still in high school but moved out of her mom's house?

Mesa, AZ |

My daughter turned 18 in oct 2012 moved out of her mom's house a few days later and moved into an apartment with her friends, she works part time and is still in high school doesn't graduate til may or june. Do I still pay child support or is she emancipated? The exwife agreed to lesser child support amount if I gave her full custody of my daughter years ago. I have a different job now and she is remarried for a 3rd time claims her new husband pays higher child support and cant financially support her and daughter has emotional issues with me and now exwife is filing child support modification based on that. I also have a 15 year old son living with her, in response to her petition I want to file full custody.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Every state is different but generally, once a child is 18 and living on their own, child support terminates. Consider filing a motion to terminate support, let the judge decide.

    The answers on this discussion board are general in nature and NOT intended as legal advice. Responding to questions does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Always see a lawyer about your individual situation.


  2. You need to respond to your wife's petition and indicate that you should not be paying for your daughter and that you want custody of your son. I think it might be worth having an attorney representing you in this matter for the benefit of your son and you financially.


  3. Your obligation to pay child support for your children until they turn 18, unless they are still living at the home of the other parent AND attending in high school, but in no case past their 19th birthday. In other words, if your daughter has moved out of mom's house and has her own apartment, you can request that the court stop the child support. You are still obligated to pay the child support until the court stops it.

    I am not clear as to rather or not Mom has filed for a child support modification, or is simply threatening to do so.

    If you have been served with child support modification paperwork, you would want to file a Response & Counter-Petition for a Change in Parenting Time.

    If you have not yet been served, you would likely want to file a Petition to Modify Parenting Time & Child Support right away. The court will not "back-date" the change any further than the date your paperwork is served on your ex.

    In any case, it would be highly advisable that you at least consult with an experienced family law attorney right away to discuss your rights and options. The Sampair Group, as well as most local family law attorneys, offers a free consultation on all new matters.

    Good luck!

    Patrick Sampair
    The Sampair Group, PLLC
    623.218.1000
    480.636.1333

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