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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10052
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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My son is turning 18 Feb 1st. The child support order calls

Customer Question

My son is turning 18 Feb 1st. The child support order calls for me to pay his support until he's 19 or a FT high school student and is not self supporting. He's attending a PT charter school since he fell behind. In tranditional FT school. He attends 3 days a week but is not yet working.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

To be clear, the order states to pay child support until either the child reaches age 19, or completes his studies as a full time high school student, correct?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
or becomes self supporting which he is not. "Whichever occurrs first". He lives with his father. Has had difficulty getting a work pemit due to his grades. He attends a charter school PT, 1-2 days per week so has flexibility to work once he turns 18 without permit.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The order says: Payments commence on 11-05-13 and shall continue until further orders of the court, or until said child marries, kies, or is emancipated, raches the age of 19, or reaches 18 and is not a full-time high school student and not selft-supporting, whichever occurs first.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
dies or self supporting.
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

When the court order provides that a child must meet one of three prongs in order to have child support terminated, then any prong will satisfy:

if the child has not reached age 19, has not graduated from high school, and is not self supporting, none of the prongs would be met so child support would continue.

As for charter school issues, should the educational aspect be challenged, generally the courts will look to the actual schooling to see if the intended purposes are being achieved-for example, if it requires full time schooling, and the child is taking a "full load" at the charter school, then the court will typically consider that full time, even though the child may not be in school from the traditional 8-3 time frame. If the child has ample free time and can successfully work while attending the alternative school, the court can take that into consideration and reduce child support accordingly (the courts look to the "best interests of the child", so if the child is realisitically only doing minimal schooling and has ample free time to sustain a job, they would prefer the child to get a job as opposed to doing nothing)

However, the parent wishing to terminate the support would need to seek clarification from the court- most of these orders were drafted before the charter schools became such a popular option to traditional school. If the school does not appear to be a legitimate means to an end (obtaining a high school diploma) the court may take that into consideration and state that full time means a traditional full time school day, as envisioned when the order was originally drafted.

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