Ask A Lawyer: How Long Do Support And Maintenance Last?



I would like your opinion on the duration for child support and maintenance.  Right now I am looking at family support and my wife’s lawyer is saying usually it lasts 1/2 the length of the marriage. Is this accurate.

Is there a general rule of thumb as to how long this type of maintenance will last. I just want another opinion besides my lawyers. We were married 20 years.




The duration of maintenance varies from state to state and even from district to district within a state.  In some states, there is no limit on the duration of maintenance.  My advice to you is to consult with another attorney in your area to discuss your specific facts. 

The duration of child support also varies from state to state.  In some states, it will end when the child turns 18, but if that’s during the child’s senior year of high school, then the obligation will typically last until the end of the child’s senior year. 

In other states, child support can continue after age 18 as long as the child attends college.  When it comes to issues of support, the best thing to do is consult an attorney who is familiar with the laws in your state.  


Claudia J. Weaver is an Associate Attorney with Cordell & Cordell, P.C., in Overland Park, Kansas. Ms. Weaver practices exclusively in the area of domestic relations.

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