Because my Teen Aged Daughter was Arrested Can I Legally Stop Paying Child Support?

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“I have been paying child support for 17 years for my daughter, who’s mother I never married. She became pregnant at the age of 16 and had a child. Because I am not voluntarily giving extra child support to help with the baby, her mom is threatening to go back to court to get more child support. My daughter was arrested for theft in a grocery store, (while pregnant). I found out through a police friend. She has been to her court date, and is on probation, with a few other minor rules. She graduated high school early (almost 17 when she graduated). My question is: Can I legally stop paying child support because she was arrested, or any other reason that you know of given the circumstance? We all live in Louisiana.”

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Unless the order states otherwise, you are required to pay child support until your daughter turns 18, or graduates high school, whichever comes *later*; in this case you would be required to pay until she is 18.

Once she’s 18, regardless of her having a child, or any other situation you’ve detailed, it would be unlikely that you would have to continue to pay.

However, her arrest, and other factors, while she is under 18, will not excuse you from paying child support.

That said, please really think about what you are asking here. Your daughter – who had the smarts and initiative to graduate early from high school – is clearly in trouble now. Shoplifting and teen pregnancy are the signs of a girl who needs help – and the support of her father – not him to treat her as a financial burden. Don’t put yourself, or her, in a position where years from now you will look back and wish you’d done things differently to help her on the path to a stable life for both herself, and your grandchild.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.