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My question is around child support. My 18 year old daughter

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My question is around child support. My 18 year old daughter has made a choice to move in with me and her stepmother. She will be finishing her last 5 months of High School in Wisc. Her mother, my Ex lives in Minnesota. The divorce decree states the following.
Child Support will continue until one of the following occurs
a. the child reaches his or her 18th birthday, or age twenty (20) if the child is still attending high school.
b. the child becomes self-supporting or emancipated
c. the child marries
d. the child serves in the Armed Forces
e. the child dies.

Am I still responsible for paying child support?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 7 years ago.

Hello and thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.


  1. I am a licensed attorney with family law litigation experience. I will be glad to try and answer your question. I hope that the following information will be helpful to you, but please just write back if you have any follow-up questions or need clarification on anything after reviewing the following information. I hope that everything works out appropriately for you in this matter.
  2. As counterintuitive as it may seem, unfortunately the answer to your question is yes. Here is why. A divorce decree serves as an order and covers certain future contingencies. In this instance -- assuming your daughter has not married and is not serving in the military -- we can set aside "c" and "d". That leaves a consideration of "a" -- although she has attained the age of 18, she is still in high school, so the age 20 provision controls. Concerning "b" -- by definition she is not emancipated or self-supporting if she resides with you.
  3. Here is the botXXXXX XXXXXne. Only the Court can modify the arrangements concerning custody and support. This still applies even in the context of your daughter residing with you. So, as illogical as it admittedly sounds, absent going to Court and seeking a modification, you will be in the situation of having her reside with you while still paying support to your former spouse. I have personally encountered this very situation in my legal practice, and the only remedy is to seek a modification.



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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

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