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I have questions about how long you need to pay child support under new laws.

Thornton, CO |

My husband has 3 kids from a prior marriage . One is 20 , one is 18 next month and one is 14 . But we still pay support for 3 kids . Shouldn't support end when they turn 19 whether or not they are in college . Although he agreed to pay 50 / 50 for college , neither parent can afford this so the kids are actually having to get student loans . His ex is threatening him stating that he will have to continue to pay support until the kids are 26 . . . I am not quite sure where she is getting that .

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Attorney answers 3


Your husband needs an attorney. While child support usually ends when a child turns 19, the child support does not automatically modify itself. Absent a motion to the Court, the child support order continues at the previous level until the YOUNGEST child turns 19. Furthermore, the agreement to pay college expenses may obligate your husband to pay for a longer period of time - although it may be possible to direct the support to the child in college rather than to the parent - particularly if the child is supporting him or herself.

Your husband needs to sit down with an experienced family law attorney and get a motion filed with the Court. Otherwise, he will keep paying the same child support amount for at least the next five years.

You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.


I agree with Mr. Harkess. Under current Colorado law, child support is ordered as one total amount per month for however many children there are to support. When the oldest child reaches majority, support does not automatically change. The person seeking the change needs to file a motion to modify with the court, which can and generally should make its order changing support, assuming a change is warranted, effective back in time to the first support payment due after the motion to modify was filed.

As for the agreement to pay college expenses, Colorado courts cannot force a parent to pay for their children's college, unless the parent agreed to do so and that agreement was made an order of court. This answer is provided as general information about a legal issue, is not legal advice specific to a particular case, and does not create a lawyer-client relationship with the person asking the question.


My colleagues have given you excellent advice. In fact, you folks ought to consider giving one of them a call to help out in this situation!

Good luck.


In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.