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When can I end child support?

Dartmouth, MA |

I have been paying child support for the past 13 years in Massachusetts...she is currently 20 years old ( 1 14 1993) she will be graduataing UMASS DARTMOUTH in the spring of 2014 ..will I be able to cease Child Support at that point? Thanks John

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Best Answer

Child support can last until 23 so long as a child is enrolled full-time in an undergraduate educational program & is principally dependent upon the parents. If the child reaches the age of 21 & graduates from college, the support may then be termianted.

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



grad school?

Karen M. Buckley

Karen M. Buckley


No only undergraduate, and no longer than 23.



do i need to see a lawyer before ending child support when she graduates college? > -- Mr Grimes


Congratulation on your child graduating. You will need to look closely at the separation agreement language regarding the termination date of child support. Usually it is defined in the agreement. You should consult with a qualified family law attorney if you have any other questions.

Advice provided is of a general nature to provide guidance. Divorce law is state specific. One should always check the laws in their home jurisdiction. An attorney-client relationship is not intended or established through provided responses.


In all likelihood yes you will be able to stop making payments once she finishes school. If the support is going through DOR then you might have to take a few extra steps to terminate support though.

Karla Mansur, Esq.
Law Office of Karla M. Mansur, LLC
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Concord, MA 01742
P: (978) 341-5040 / F: (978) 401-0687

I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state


Child Support continues until emancipation. Emancipation will not be considered, as others have said, until 23 if they are still in school. Emancipation can also occur as defined in your separation agreement, if different. You should consult an experienced family law attorney to help prepare a potential modification.

Kyle Piro is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law and should not be construed as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed by Attorney Piro answering your question. It is advisable to consult with an attorney about your personal legal concerns.


It depends if your order has a self-terminating clause. And it
should; it not file a Modification before the termination date
seeking termination.

Does this answer your question?

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I agree with my colleagues. It is important to note that your child support obligation may not automatically end. You may need to file a complaint for modification to technically end this obligation. That being said.... it may take up to 8 months before you are heard by a judge. The good news is that you may be entitled to "compensation" up to the time that you file the complaint for modification. DO NOT stop paying this obligation if you are unsure, you may be held in contempt.
Also, on a good note, if you are not entitled to cease the obligation you may be able to have it reduced, the child support guidelines do not necessary apply to children over 18 years of age.
Why not contact an attorney who offers a free consultation? You can't loose....

This response is not intended, nor does it constitute an attorney client relationship. The answer given shall not be relied upon as legal guidance. You should retain counsel for legal representation, to provide you a more detailed and accurate answer to your question.

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