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When does child support end in Wisconsin?

When you are under a support obligation for little children, it seems as though that obligation for support may never go away. At some point though, a parent no longer is obligated to pay support. When, under Wisconsin law does that duty end?

The answer lies in sec. 767.511 (4) and reads as follows; “AGE OF CHILD ELIGIBLE FOR SUPPORT. The court shall order either party or both to pay for the support of any child of the parties who is less than 18 years old, or any child of the parties who is less than 19 years old if the child is pursuing an accredited course of instruction leading to the acquisition of a high school diploma or its equivalent.”

Breaking the statute apart for a moment, there is no question that ordinarily a child support obligation ends as each child reaches 18, where you are recognized as being an adult. The only way the obligation can extend beyond the 18th birthday, is where the child is still in high school or trying to obtain the equivalent of their high school degree. If that is the case, a parent, under Wisconsin law, can still be required to support that child. The absolute ending point, whether they are still in school or not though is no later than the 19th birthday.

If they are 18 and are in college but not 19, there is no child support obligation. If they are 18 and dropped out of high school, there is no child support obligation. If they are past 19 and haven’t graduated high school, there is no child support obligation. If the parent receiving child support doesn’t have the child living with them at home, but the child is in someone else’s care, it may affect the duty to pay child support. If they are 17 and not going to high school, there remains a child support obligation.

If you have questions about child support in the state of Wisconsin, contact the experienced family lawyers at Karp & Iancu, S.C. today.

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