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Lawgirl, Lawyer
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My support order was entered in VA in 1996 and I live in ...

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My support order was entered in VA in 1996 and I live in Indiana. My 17 year old daughter joined National Guard and will be in boot camp this summer and finish her senior year of high school next fall. She will be going to college. My 15 year old son has three more years of school and probably won''t be going to collge afterward.

Previous lawyers never included a stop date for child support. Oder is open-ended; doesn''t say support stops at age 18 or 19 if still in school. Since support amount is only $200 month, I''m unsure how wise it is to rock the boat right now, but I need to know when to stop paying. I am afraid that if I try to change the support order and get a stop date, the support amount will be reviewed and I''ll have to pay more. I can''t afford to pay amy more than I am ordered now. MAIN Q: If I go to court to ammend the support order, will they reveiw and ammend the spport amount?


Thank you for your question.

It is very possible that if you bring a motion to modify the child support order in any way, your ex will challenge the amount of the order or will ask the court to review the amount.

Parents are obligated to pay child support until a child reaches the age of 19 or graduates from high school, whichever comes first. Statutorily, support terminates when the child turns 18 if the child is not in high school. So, it sounds like statutorily, you will be safe to stop paying for your daughter after she graduates from high school. You may desire to discuss your understanding of the law with your ex, as opposed to taking the issue back to court, before you cease your payments. You may avoid a court proceeding if she can confirm with her attorney that support ends when your children reach 19 or graduate high school (which ever comes first).

Please let me know if you have any other questions, or require clarification of this matter. Otherwise please hit "ACCEPT", so I may receive credit for my response. Tips and feedback are also appreciated.

Good Luck!


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Customer: replied 9 years ago.

Would it be the ex-wife or the court that would ask for modification of the amount? In other words, if she doesn;t ask for a change, what are the chances that the court would do it on their own?

Also what does 'statutorily' mean? Is it a state-to-state law or a federal one?

In situations like this, does someone just stop paying at the appropriate time (and how much would it be reduced for one child)...or it it necesary to get an agreement in writing with the ex-wife to submit it to the court?

If she does not ask for one, then the court is not likely to modify the amount. However, judges has been known to comment on the amount, alerting the other parent to th fact that they have the ability to get a higher amount and encouraging them to ask for more.

The way in which I was using statutorily, was in reference to the state law.

In situations like this, it is fine for a parent to stop paying at the appropriate time. Without an agreement to pay for longer than you are legally obligated to pay, you cannot be faulted for ending your payment as allowed by law. You do not need to your spouse's agreement, nor does it sound like you need a court order.

Good Luck!


Customer: replied 9 years ago.

Just one more issue that I forgot about...since Michelle won't be coming this summer due to boot camp Keith said that he's not sure he wants to come. He said it would be wierd without her. Plus he may need summer school. His mother says that after the age of 12 a kid can choose whether to go or not. She also made a small threat that she has never asked for more support.

I say he needs to come no matter what unless there is a court order that he doesn't have to. I plan to check in the morning with the local school to see if he can attend summer school here if needed.

QUESTION IS: Does she have the choice to have him stay home if I want him to come? What does the law say, especially if he can attend school here?

Unless there is a court order forcing visitation, then she does not have to send him. Although if the mother is standing in the way of the child visiting you, you may be able to claim that your are being alienated from your son. Given the age of your son, his mother is correct, that if she went into court, the court would give deference to the preference of the child, if the child is of the age to appreciate the gravity and circumstances of making such a decision.

Good Luck!


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Thanks very much for the help!