Ask a Divorce Lawyer: Why am I still paying child support for two adult children who live on their own?

Question: I’m still paying child support and my children are now 25 and 30. The case is in California, but I now live in Ohio and the mother now lives in Michigan. 

How do I stop this? 

Still paying child support for two adult children with full-time jobs not living with their mother seems completely ridiculous.



That your children are over age 18 and have full-time jobs (i.e., are not students) suggests to me that you are paying past due support (“arrears”). If so, then your options for reducing the payment amount are limited. For arrears, most states restrict the extent you can retroactively modify the support order. You may have a good argument to discharge your arrears or to enter a payment plan depending on the facts of your case. Courts are more likely to modify support and/or the payment plan and/or discharge arrears if the payor’s financial circumstances change (e.g., if you lose your job). The modification and discharge criteria vary by state. You should consult with an attorney in your area to discuss what options, if any, you have based on the particular orders and facts in your case.  

Keep in mind that I am a Michigan attorney and cannot give you detailed advice about the laws in Ohio. You should not rely on this answer as establishing an attorney-client relationship, and you should contact an attorney in your area immediately if you need additional information or legal representation, as most parties in child support cases do. The laws applicable to your order may be unique to your state, and only an attorney who practices in your state can fully advise you and represent you.


Jennifer M. Paine is an Associate Attorney in the Detroit, Michigan office of Cordell & Cordell P.C. She is licensed to practice in Michigan, and has been admitted pro hac vice in Illinois, Ohio, and the United States Court of Federal Claims. Ms. Paine received her BA in English and Mathematics from Albion College and graduated Summa Cum Laude. She received her Juris Doctorate from MSU College of Law and graduated Summa Cum Laude.

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