My Child Turned 18 but My Support Order Does Not Specify I Can Pay Less

When you have three kids, all subject to one child support order and one of them goes off to college and is 18 years old, how much do you have to pay?

Fortunately, most support orders will list how much child support is due for each child. So, when one child "ages out" then you reduce the child support by the amount dedicated to that particular child. 

But what happens if your child support order or judgment does not specify how much support is to be paid for each child and does not have a disaster attached? This is known as an "unallocated child support order."

Orders setting an unallocated amount for the support of several minor children cannot be unilaterally reduced pro-rata as each child reaches majority, unless the order so provides, specifying the permissible reduction. Rather modification proceedings must be initiated by the complaining party...on the theory that the court may have allocated support differently as to each child and the amount needed for the remaining minor may have increased since the issuance of the unallocated order. Spivey v. Furtado (1966) 242 CA2d 259, 262-263; Comstock v. Comstock (1981) 116 CA3d 481, 488-489. 

In short, you have to keep paying the entire unallocated child support amount ordered, unless you file a motion to modify the support. 

If you have questions regarding child support, call Morales Law, P.C. today at (805) 422-7966

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