Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today.
What Massachusetts law says is that child support ends at age 18, but the judge may order support to continue until age 21 when the child is still living in the parent's home, is principally dependent upon the parent for support. Support can then continue until age 23 if the child is also going to school for a college degree (except post-graduate degrees). G. L. c. 209, Section 37. None of that is automatic, though. A parent is only obligated to pay beyond the child's 18th birthday if the court order or a settlement agreement says so. That means the first step is to review the order. If you don't have it, you can get a copy from the clerk of the divorce court. When the order says nothing, support ends at the child's 18th birthday unless the custodial parent goes back to court to get it extended.
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