Do I have to continue to pay child support for my 18 year old son? He should have graduated high school June 2009, but has failed 11 classes in four years of high school. I insisted he go to summer school last year, and he did go for about 2 days before he was kicked out. It was suggested by school counselors that he attend twilight school. His mother would not allow that. She is purposely allowing him to fail so that I will have to continue to pay support even though he is 18. My ex-wife and children live in Pennsylvania. I also have a nine year old daughter. I pay her $300 per month and pay all medical expenses and in addition, buy all of her clothing, etc. I would never stop payments except that my ex-wife is just doing this to get me to continue paying. She has never worked. I should also mention that my son is her biological child and I adopted him. She married me and we had our daughter. After our divorce, she is living with a man and had another child with him.
State/Country of Question: Pennsylvania
We never had a formal support agreement. She was satisfied with the amount I provided until now when I refused to pay for my son after his 18th birthday. She is taking me to court on August 20 and I cannot afford an attorney.
You would first need to check the divorce decree to see what it says. In most states, child support ends at 18 unless the child is still in high school. What state was the divorce decree issued in? I was not able to view the rest of the question until now....be back in a few
The divorce was in Pennsylvania
Under PA law, child support lasts until the child's eighteenth birthday or until he/she graduates (or withdraws from) high school, which ever is later. Procedurally, if you had an order in place, here’s how the situation is handled in PA, as set forth in Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure, Title 231, ch. 1910, Rule 1910.19: -----> (a) A petition for modification or termination of an existing support order shall specifically aver the material and substantial change in circumstances upon which the petition is based. A new guideline amount resulting from new or revised support guidelines may constitute a material and substantial change in circumstances. The existence of additional income, income sources or assets identified through automated methods or otherwise may also constitute a material and substantial change in circumstances. -----> (b) The procedure upon the petition shall be in accordance with Rule 1910.10 et seq. -----> (c) Pursuant to a petition for modification, the trier of fact may modify or terminate the existing support order in any appropriate manner based upon the evidence presented. -----> (d) All charging orders for spousal support and alimony pendente lite shall terminate upon the death of the payee spouse. -----> (e) Within one year of the date a child who is the subject of a child support order reaches eighteen (18) years of age, the domestic relations section shall issue an emancipation inquiry and notice to the obligee, with a copy to the obligor, seeking the following information: (1) confirmation of the child’s date of birth, date of graduation or withdrawal from high school; (2) whether the child has left the obligee’s household and, if so, the date of departure; (3) the existence of any agreement between the parties requiring payments for the benefit of the child after the child has reached age eighteen (18) or graduated from high school; and (4) any special needs of the child which may be a basis for continuing support for that child beyond the child’s eighteenth birthday or graduation from high school, whichever is last to occur. The notice shall advise the obligee that if the inquiry is not returned within thirty (30) days of mailing or if there is no agreement or the child does not have any special needs, the charging order may be modified or terminated by the court. When no other children are subjects of the child support order and the obligee either does not return the emancipation inquiry within thirty (30) days of its mailing or does not assert grounds for continuing support for the child, then the court shall have the authority to administratively terminate the child support charging order without further proceedings at any time on or after the last to occur of the date the last child reaches age eighteen (18) or graduates from high school. Termination of the charging order shall not affect any arrears accrued through the date of termination. The court shall have the authority to enter an order requiring the obligor to pay on arrears in an amount equal to the amount of the charging order until all arrears are paid. If the order applies to another child or children and/or the obligee asserts that there is an agreement between the parties or that a child has special needs requiring continued support, then the domestic relations section may schedule a conference to determine if the charging order should be modified.
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