When Does My Child Support Stop?

Once child support is ordered in Kentucky, it will continue until the child turns eighteen (or is emancipated) or graduates from high school, whichever is later.  As a general matter, child support will not continue past the child's nineteenth birthday.  With recent changes to the health insurance laws, a child can remain on a parent's health insurance plan until the child turns twenty-six.

Special provisions are made in the statutes if a child is a special needs child.  In these circumstances, if the child has extraordinary needs, a divorced parent could still be obligated to help support the child.  Oftentimes, children with special needs qualify for other forms of assistance which the court will take into consideration in making a support award.  The key in this situation is to be able to properly establish the reasonable needs of the child.

A common misconception when there is a child support award for multiple children is that as one child "ages out," the child support is reduced proportionately (i.e. three children, reduce child support by a third).  This has gotten a lot of people into serious trouble with the courts.  The way child support is calculated, it does not simply double, triple, etc. depending on the number of children.  As children graduate from high school, it is necessary to file a motion to modify the child support to have it recalculated based on the changed circumstances.  Until such a motion is filed, the obligor will continue to have to pay the old (and probably higher) child support obligation.

If you have a child that is nearing eighteen and graduating from high school, it may be time to review your child support obligations.  If you have more question, contact us at the Alford Law Office.

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