In the Commonwealth of Virginia, both parents are responsible for paying child support for their children whether or not they were ever married. Parents are obligated to pay child support until their child is 18 years old or is legally emancipated.
However, there is an exception to this rule. A parent can be required to pay child support for a child who is 18 years old if all of the following conditions are met:
- The child is still in high school.
- The child does not support himself.
- The child lives in the household of the parent requesting child support.
In this situation, the non-custodial parent can be required to pay child support until his child graduates from high school or turns 19 years old, whichever is sooner.
Can Child Support Obligations Be Extended for a Child Who Is Disabled?
Another exception to the rule that child support stops when a child turns 18 years is if a child is disabled. In order for this rule to apply, he must be severely and permanently physically or mentally disabled. He must also reside in the custodial parent’s home.
Can Parents Agree to Extend Child Support Obligations?
Parents can agree to extend child support payments beyond the age of 18 in a divorce judgment or other agreement. For example, parents sometimes agree in a divorce judgment to continue child support obligations into adulthood if the child is reasonably pursuing a college education. Courts will enforce this agreement if it is in the best interests of the child.
Do you have other questions regarding your child support obligations? Do you need to ask the court to modify your child support agreement because the payment is too high? Our experienced family law attorneys are here to help. To learn more about your options, call our office or fill out the convenient form on our website to schedule your free initial consultation.