A Parent who has been previously ordered to pay child support is obligated to pay until the child’s 19th birthday. Unless there is a specific date in the divorce decree or subsequent order which states that the support can be terminated on that day, a person is technically obligated to pay support until the Judge issues an order terminating the support requirement. A person can be ordered to pay support past the child’s nineteenth birthday if the child is going to college and the parent has the financial ability to pay or if the child is a “special needs” child and is mentally or physically unable to provide for themselves once they reach the age of 19. Any action intended to get one parent to pay college support MUST be filed prior to the day of that particular child’s nineteenth birthday. If not filed by then, the court forever loses jurisdiction to order college support.
If there are multiple children who are receiving support pursuant to your current order and one has turned 19, that is a sufficient basis to modify the payor’s support. The new order will be recalculated based on the parties’ gross monthly incomes and other A.R.J.A. 32 factors existing at that time but will not include support for the child that recently turned 19.