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Is child support paid to the child at 18 if she is still in High School?

Tacoma, WA |

My daughter recently moved out of my home and her fathers. She doesn't graduate until the middle of June 2013. Child support has been terminated to me, but isn't it to go to her until she graduates? The Divorce Decree states that it is paid until age 18 or Graduation. Whichever is later.

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Your current situation was likely not contemplated in the order of child support that you entered along with the decree, and thus, you are probably in a gray area, legally speaking. I'm not certain what you mean about child support being terminated as to you (perhaps this happened as a result of agreement or through a Division of Child Support action?). Unless the child is emancipated by court order, you and her father still have some duty of support, but if she voluntarily moved out, it's not clear what that duty would be, especially if support would be ending next month anyway. To get a more complete answer, I suggest that you consult with a local family law attorney that can answer your question after reviewing your documents and the facts of your case more closely.


I am not completely clear on the facts of your case based on the information you provided. However, if the decree states support shall be paid until age 18 or graduation and this is reflected on the order of child support, then child support should be paid by the parent who does not have residential custody to the parent that does. I recommend that you schedule time with a local attorney to evaluate the divorce decree and order of child support.


Normally child support is required until age 18 or graduation, whichever is later. It’s always best to consult with a good family law attorney to discuss the details before you act. See my AVVO Legal Guides on child support and Post Secondary Educational Support for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Please keep in mind that although these Legal Guides are often informative, they are no substitute for legal advice from an attorney you have retained for consultation or representation. Click on my photo. On my AVVO home page click on "View Contributions" or scroll down further and click on "Legal Guides." Scroll down the list of my 29 Legal Guides and select the topics relevant to your question. If you like my answer and Legal Guides, please make sure you mark them as “helpful.”

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