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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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I am trying to determine if my Child support payments are to

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I am trying to determine if my Child support payments are to end when my son turns 18, in December 2011 or when he graduates from High School in 2012. He will not be continuing to higher education.

Here is the wording on my Massachusetts Divorce agreement:
Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. The child support payments shall be made by wage assignment and, so long as possible, by direct deposit into Wife's bank account. The child support is to continue in effect until the child is emancipated. 2. For purposes of all provisions of this Agreement relating to the child, emancipation of the child shall be deemed to have occurred upon the happening of the first to occur of the following events:

(a) Attaining the age of 18 years or graduation from high school without plans for future education as a full-time student; or if attending an accredited vocational training school or accredited college as a full-time student at age 23 or the completion of such college or school, whichever occurs first, provided that (i) a child's engagement in part-time employment while said child is pursuing his education as a frill-time student shall not be deemed emancipation; and (ji) full-time employment by a child during school vacations shall not be deemed to terminate child support upon a child's subsequently entering vocational training school or college; thereafter, emancipation shall be determined in accordance with other applicable provisions of this paragraph and section;

(b) Marriage (even though such marriage may be void or voidable and despite its annulment); (c) Permanent residence away from the residence of the Husband or Wife; however, residence at boarding school, camp or college is not to be deemed a residence away from the Husband or Wife as set forth in paragraph 4(a) above;

(d) Death; (e) Entry into the military service of any country (provided that if such entry is not voluntary, emancipation shall be deemed to terminate upon discharge from such service and thereafter, emancipation shall be determined in accordance with other applicable provisions of this paragraph)

Thank you for your question. After reading my answer, please do not hesitate to reply if you have additional questions or need more information.


According to the language provided, it will stop when he turns 18 in December 2011. This is because in the first paragraph a) it defines emancipation as "attaining the age of 18 years OR graduation from high school without plans...." If it said "and" it would be when he graduated. But since it says "or", the payments stop after his 18th birthday.



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