Skip to main content

Do I still need a modification hearing if my daughter's University sent me a letter stating she graduated from college?

Boston, MA |

My daughter has been out of college for months & DOR told me that it would be hard to get a letter from her college. I asked the school anyways & they supplied me with one stating that she is no longer a student & has graduated, so what is next to get my payments terminated for good?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 6


You should consult a family law attorney to review the terms of your separation agreement or any child support agreement and any modifications thereto containing provisions relating to child support and upon what conditions it can be terminated. Such agreements usually provide for support to end at 18, 21 or 23 but can be later. Because your daughter has completed college, child support can be terminated at the completion of a bachelor's degree or at the age of 23, whichever comes first but again, you would need to review what your child support obligations are. Best of luck.

Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. (It lets us know how we are doing.) Attorney Kremer is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. Please visit her Avvo profile for contact information. In accordance with Avvo guidelines, the following disclaimer applies to all responses given in this forum: The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.


Yes, you will need to ask the judge to terminate the order or file a stipulation with the court. Good luck.

This is an advertisement for legal services. No commentary on this website is intended to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created by using this site.


I would suggest filing a complaint for modification to ensure the child support obligation is terminated, if your child is over the age of 21 and/or is no longer dependent upon her parents for support.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship.


I am a former DOR Enforcement Attorney. The answer to the question really depends on the unique facts of your current situation. First, I would certainly contact your case worker at the DOR, and fax over to them a copy of the letter from the University. Your case worker should be able to indicate to you - based upon the court order, and your case at the DOR - if the current child support order may be terminated without the need of a court hearing.

I wish you luck.

Anthony Rao, Esq.

The above response is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer, and any communication between us is not protected by attorney-client privilege.


As with any questions regarding issues pertaining to children, it will depend upon the specific details of your situation. If you are up-to-date on all child support and ALL other financial obligations owed to other parent, and if other parent agrees that termination child support is warranted, an Affidavit from you, attaching a copy of the original letter from the university, stating daughter has graduated, you are up to date on all financial obligations owed to other parent, and the same from other parent , SHOULD be enough for DOR/CSE to implement procedure to stop collection of child support by it. However, if there is a discrepancy or dispute between you and DOR/CSE, or you and other parent, either with when child support is to terminate, or as to arrears, you will need to file a Complaint for Modification and Termination of child support, and have the Court hold a hearing on a Motion on this issue. This is the recommended and best practice in any case. It is your sole responsibility to file a Complaint for Modification/Termination of Child Support, together with a Motion for Temporary Orders, and to request and mark the Motion for a hearing before the Court.

You can obtain the necessary forms on-line (in top right corner of website) at:

where you will find forms for Complaint and Motion, and in the same top right hand corner, you will also find:

After you have filed your Complaint and Motion, keeping 3 copies for yourself, the Court will mail the summons and a stamped copy of the Complaint, and then you will go to the judicial calendars section, find your county, and then the Judge who to whom your case has been assigned (if you do not know who this is, call the Register in your county, and ask the trial scheduling assistant to which judge your case is assigned before going to the calendar…. (it usually is your original Judge, unless he/she has retired or died), determine what dates are available for that Judge….. (red means there are already many matters scheduled for hearing before that judge, and unless you can afford to wait around all day, you should select another date… and be considerate to other parent as well – lawyers and judges are only people, too, and we recognize that some people, no matter how long ago the relationship with other parent fell apart, are simply more interested with/in fighting with other parent, instead of what is in the child’s best interests…. it is not about you, it is about what is in child’s best interests, and it expected that the parents are “responsible adults” who realize and appreciate this fact, and act like mature adults with regard to the same. "Bad behavior" by you, may cause "bad results" for you!

Once you have found a date available at least 10 days away, you must prepare a written Notice of hearing, original to be sent to the Court, one copy for you, and one copy to be served on other parent, together with a copy of the summons, Complaint, the motion, and Notice of Hearing, with date of hearing, to start at 8:30 a.m.

You must then deliver summons and copies for the other parent to the Deputy Sheriff for service upon the other parent. If other parent agrees to accept service that is fine, but you will need to obtain that parent’ signature on the summons and return that original to the Court (keeping a copy for yourself), as soon as possible.

One last bit of advice: Dress appropriately!!!! NO sneakers flip flops, no torn or suggestive or provocative clothing, no t-shirts with stuff written on it. Nice shoes, nice clothes.... if your Mother would NOT have allowed you to wear in high school, do NOT wear to Court...

No attorney-client relatonship is created in responding to this question, and advice provided is based solely on very limited facts presented, and therefore may not be correct.


In my recent experience dealing with a few similar situations, YES you must still file a modification asking that youR support obligation be terminated. It is not a good idea to just stop paying and risk being a defendant in a contempt action. You would rather initiate the process as the Plaintiff. As long as the terms of your divorce order or separation agreement are being complied with, you should be allowed to cease making support payments.