paying support if you're child leaves home early

RADIO: Do I Still Have To Pay Child Support If My Kid Leaves Home?

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Child support is a complicated affair. The formula accounts for many factors like need, ability to pay, and more. Like most court orders, once in place, it’s difficult to change. You generally need to demonstrate a drastic change in circumstances, and even then, it often stays the same.

Our founding partner, Rick Jones, makes regular guest appearances on the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show, where he fields questions from listeners. A recent caller wants to know if he has to continue paying child support, even if the child in question moved out? As usual, it’s a complex matter.

Caller Question

“Okay, so my question is, I have a 17-year-old stepdaughter who just went into a three-year Job Corps program. Yet we are still being told we have to pay child support to her mother that she no longer lives with.

“Job Corps is supplying her room and board, education, everything. So mom’s providing nothing. Is there anything we can do about that?”

Rick’s Answer

Rick: “I assume she’s finished high school?”

Caller:No, she has not, Job Corps is providing her a GED program.”

Rick:I’m not familiar with this program, so I can’t dive into it as specific in regards to Job Corps, but basically the child support order says, “18 or finishes high school, whichever comes later.” 

“What you’ve got going on is a lot more akin to a college situation. In other words, there is some level of support expectation, but also a level of support expectation from her.

“This is one that would be ripe to go back to court and say ‘we have a really unique circumstance.’ Just because I don’t have the answer for you now doesn’t mean there isn’t an answer to be gotten from a third party, meaning the court.

“What I would start with is called mediation, and if that doesn’t succeed, especially as the child approaches 18-years-old, the next step is to bring a motion to the court.

Related Reading: How Long Do I Have to Pay Past Due Child Support?

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