Child Support After Your Child Is 18 Years Old

Rachel Gruetzner

Do you still have to pay child support for a child once they turn 18 (also referred to as post majority support)? The answer is a lawyer’s favorite – it depends.

In Michigan, when a  child is over 18, but continuing to attend high school full-time with an expected graduation date before the child reaches age 19 ½, then an obligation to pay child support remains.  If a child has turned 18 and stopped attending high school, then any obligation to pay child support ends.

However, the Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled in Weaver v Giffels that if parents share equal parenting time and joint physical custody, then post-majority support is only paid if the child is a “resident” of the payee’s home.  The child’s residence is based on where the child intends to live.  While this is a legal test that I anticipate will continue to be litigated, the present result of the case is that it may be worthwhile for payers of significant child support obligations to ask the court to terminate a child support obligation for a child over the age of 18.

If you have a significant child support obligation and you have a child nearing age 18, you may want to speak to an attorney to determine whether you should ask the court to terminate or change your support order.  Whether you are the payer or the payee of support, it is very important that you understand when child support can and should end in your case. At Levine & Levine, we are experts in these and other complex questions related to child support matters.

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