Typically, child support ends when a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs last. However, both parents may have an obligation to pay “postsecondary support”– meaning helping pay for the room and board, tuition, books, and/or other expenses associated with a child attending a four-year college, a two-year college, a vocational/trade school, etc. The analysis of postsecondary education is different from the analysis of child support that is paid through the time a child turns 18 or graduates from high school.
For example, with “regular” child support, the analysis is mostly income and deductions driven. For the most part the law focuses on someone’s income and allowable deductions to arrive at net income. The net incomes of both parents then are entered into our child support software that calculates the amount of child support that the “obligor” parent should pay. We also take into consideration numerous other factors such as whether the parents have 50/50 custody arrangement (or whether the children spend a “significant amount of time” with the obligor parent), whether the obligor parent has other children that he/she supports, etc.