When there is a child support order in North Dakota, many parents will believe that the payments will continue until the child reaches what is known as “majority.” However, that is not always the case. The child support guidelines allow for the payments to continue beyond age 18 – when the child has reached majority – if there are certain conditions in place. Even parents who have no negative perception about paying for a child’s financial needs will look forward to the day when they are no longer required to do so. It is imperative to know when the payments can be extended beyond the age of majority.
The requirement for a supporting parent to pay child support will continue until the end of the month when the child has graduated from high school or reached age 19 – whichever occurs first. The following circumstances must be in place for this rule to be in effect: the child must be enrolled in and attending high school and be 18 before the date when he or she is expected to graduate and the child must still live with the person who is receiving the child support payments.
Parents who want to continue paying child support after the child has reached majority age can do so. The parties involved must agree to this stipulation or the court can determine on its own that extending the payments is appropriate. The child will be treated as if he or she is in school during the summer if the child was enrolled and attending, but did not graduate at the end of the school year right before summer vacation. The child who remains enrolled in school is not treated as if he or she graduated even if the work has been done and the coursework and exams are completed unless there was a ceremony to commemorate that graduation.
Child support can be a difficult and contentious issue to navigate after a couple has parted ways. For those who are seeking to extend child support beyond the age of majority and for supporting parents who have questions about when this might be done, it is crucial to get the right information about child support statutes in North Dakota.