My divorce decree stated that child support end when the child turns 18 or graduates high school. She will be 18 in september, but my gut is telling me she will drop out of high school at the first chance. I don't know if I actually need to get a lawyer or if I should just request an appearance before a judge and let him decide.
Child support will terminate when you daughter is 18 if she is not in school. This does not happen automatically so you would have to file a notice and motion. You should consult with an attorney
the way you request an appearance before a judge is to do a motion or petition, ask the clerk to put the case on the court call, send notice to the other side and then show up in court. but since you do know what to ask the judge to do, how can you do it?
if the support is being withheld from your pay, the notice to withhold should contain a date for the support to stop. if it does, remind your employer to stop on that date. then that is the end of it and you need do nothing else.
if it is not withheld from your pay, then you can stop paying yourself on her 18th birthday. you need do nothing else.
to be perfectly safe, you should get a court order that stops the support and says that you are current and that there is no support arrearage. for this you must do what i said in the first paragraph.
It appears from your question you are the payor of child support. If your child drops out of high school after she turns 18, your child support obligation may be subject to termination. Whether this would happen automatically depends on the language of your order and the notice to withhold sent to your employer, if applicable. To be safe, a petition to terminate support stating the appropriate factual basis should be filed as soon as possible after the occurence of the event. You should considering having your paperwork reviewed by a family law attorney.
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