Child Support for College Bound High School Graduate?

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“My daughter will be graduating in May 2006. Her father’s last child support payment is due in June, 2006. My daughter will be going off to college and I was wondering if I could take my ex back to court to have him help with college fees and her living expenses. Our court papers signed and dated by the court in 1998 state that his last payment is due in June after she turns 18 years old and is graduated from high school. My daughter will be 18 in April 2006. Thank you for your time.”

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In most states, the legal obligation to support your children ends when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school. There are some exceptions to this rule; Oregon, for example, provides for child support up until age 21 as long as the child is in school and making good progress. So, you probably cannot take your ex back to court.

However, just as you are still her parent and want what is best for her, he is still her parent. There may still be a moral and emotional obligation. Does your child have a relationship with her father? Why not have a family meeting and sit down with your soon-to-be-adult child and her father and talk about how to cover the college expenses? If you need help in having the conversation, consult a mediator or collaborative lawyer who can help you approach the question from a problem-solving perspective.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.