How long do I have to pay child support?
According to the child support guidelines, a parent has a duty to support a minor child “until the child reaches the age of majority, dies, marries, or becomes emancipated, whichever first occurs.” OCGA 19-6-15(e). In addition, the court has the discretion to order a parent or parents “to provide financial assistance to a child who has not previously married or become emancipated, who is enrolled in and attending a secondary school, and who has attained the age of majority before completing his or her secondary school education, provided that such financial assistance shall not be required after a child attains 20 years of age.” Id. Thus, parents are required to support their children until the children reach 18 years of age, so long as the child is living, and not married or emancipated. However, the court has the option to extend the support obligation. For example, if a child turns 18 in March of his senior year of high school and continues to be enrolled in school, the court can require the child support to continue until the child graduates high school, but not past the age of 20. Parents have the option of including this extension in any settlement agreement as well.