How to Modify Child Support when there is a Custody Change

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

“I am a 19 year old college student. When my parents divorced about 7 years ago I was under joint custody but my permanent address/general guaedianship was to my father. A few years ago the court decided to just switch the papers to say my mother had and always had full custody. Now my father has been paying for child support to my mother even though I lived with him most of the time. Now I’m in college, and he apparently must continue to pay until I graduate college and live on my own… even if I go to graduate school. Is this legal, and do I have any factor in stopping this irrational child support?”It is not very common for a court to order child support for someone all the way through graduate school. In addition, child support – particularly support paid for an adult child while in school – is intended to be for the ‘child’, not one of the parents.

Question: Unfortunately, the laws about who has what is known as “standing” – i.e. the legal right to take something before the court – are complicated, and so you may or may not have standing to go into court on your own to address this. However, you certainly would be able to go with your father to court, and he definately does have standing.You and your father should together go to consult with a family law attorney who can help you sort this out and, if possible, get the order for child support modified.