Does Child Support Stop if My Child Attends College?

Often asked is When does child support terminate? Generally, child support stops when your child turns 18 and graduates from high school. If the child is still 18 and attending school, it stops when the child graduates or turns 19, whichever is first.

Much less often is the case where a 17 year old goes to college. If the 17 year old is attending a local university/college and living at home, the case law is clear that child support continues until age 18. what is less clear is whether child support does (or should) terminate if the child goes away.

The statutes in Kentucky do not make allowances for a 17 year old going away to school. The statute is clear that it continues until age 18. Kentucky divorce/dissolution courts are courts of equity. That is, the court can consider if continuation of child support is equitable or if it leads to an inequitable result. For example, if the paying party is paying 100% of the college, including room and board, then it may be inequitable for that person to continue paying support to the other parent. On the other hand, if both parties have incurred debt and continue to support their child, it may be more equitable for the child support to continue.

Important to remember is that child support doe snot automatically change if only the eldest child emancipates and there are other minor children in the home. Child support changes when either party requests a modification; generally the paying spouse requests that it be lowered when a child emancipates.

If you have questions about dissolution, child support or other post-decree matters, contact Michael Bouldin at Bouldin Law Firm at 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE) or email info@bouldinlawfirm.com.

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