Do I have to keep paying child support if my child is taking an extra year of high school because of lack of attendance?

Question:Cordell & Cordell attorney Andrea Miller

My daughter turns 18 in July and I pay child support. I just discovered that because she missed so many days of school, she will not have enough credits to graduate. Do I have to continue to pay child support if she has to take an extra year of high school because she was held back in school for simply not going enough?




A parent may be required to support a child after the child reaches the age of majority if the child is still in primary or secondary school. North Carolina statutes provides that if a child is still in primary or secondary school when the child turns 18, support payments shall continue until the child graduates, ceases to attend school on a regular basis, fails to make sufficient academic progress or reaches age 20, whichever occurs first.  In your situation, it seems that the child is ceasing to attend school on a regular basis and therefore there is a possibility that the court could order your husband’s child support terminated.

The proper procedure is to go in front of the court and ask them to make a determination of whether, based on the evidence, the child has failed to attend school on a regular basis and/or is failing to make sufficient academic progress. So depending on how many days of school the child has missed and what sort of other evidence is presented, the Judge can terminate the child support payments if he is satisfied with the evidence presented.


Andrea Miller is a Staff Attorney in the Charlotte, N.C., office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C., where she practices domestic relations exclusively. Ms. Miller is licensed in the state of North Carolina. Ms. Miller received her undergraduate degree in History and her Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  While in law school, she on the Client Counseling Team for Moot Court and became a board member. Ms. Miller also participated in UNC’s Legal Assistance Clinic whereby she helped represent indigent clients obtain legal counsel primarily in the area of domestic relations.

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