Lynchburg, VA asked in Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for Virginia

Q: Is the non custodial parent responsible for continuing child support after high school?

Divorce agreement aligned with VA child support law, in which child support ends at 19 or completion of high school which ever comes first. Child graduates this May and the custodial parent is expecting continued child support through college. Can I end child support, and am I responsible to pay through college?

2 Lawyer Answers
James H. Wilson Jr.
James H. Wilson Jr.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Glen Allen, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: A parent has a legal obligation to support his or her minor children until age 18, or until 19 if the child is still living in the home of the custodial parent and has not yet graduated high school. A parent has no legal obligation to support an adult child above age 18 or 19 unless he or she contracted to do so, or the child is severely and permanently physically or mentally disabled, unable to live independently and support himself or herself, and living in the home of the parent receiving support. Some parents agree in a separation agreement or parenting plan to support their adult children through college or trade school, or some later date, even though they would not otherwise be legally obligated to do so.

Michael Christopher Miller
Michael Christopher Miller
Answered
  • Vienna, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: If the court order states child support continues after age 18 until graduation or age 19, then child support ends at graduation or age 19.

You are only legally responsible for college if your settlement agreement provides for it.

Otherwise, college is the child's expense. Welcome to adulthood.

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