Massachusetts law about child support over age 18

Laws, cases and web sources on the child support for children over 18.

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Table of Contents

Massachusetts laws

18-23  years old

MGL c.208, § 28 Care, custody, maintenance and support of minor children following divorce
The court may make appropriate orders of maintenance, support and education of any child who has attained age eighteen but who has not attained age twenty-one and who is domiciled in the home of a parent, and is principally dependent upon said parent for maintenance. The court may make appropriate orders of maintenance, support and education for any child who has attained age twenty-one but who has not attained age twenty-three, if such child is domiciled in the home of a parent, and is principally dependent upon said parent for maintenance due to the enrollment of such child in an educational program, excluding educational costs beyond an undergraduate degree.

MGL c.209, § 37 Orders for support and maintenance of children of separated parents

MGL c.209C, § 9 Orders for support: factors considered in determining amount for children born out of wedlock

Guidelines

Child Support Guidelines II.F. Child support for children between the ages of 18 and 23
The guidelines are the basis for deciding how much child support should be paid.

Child Support Guidelines II.G. Contribution to post-secondary educational expenses
By statute, the Court has discretion either to order or to decline to order a parent to contribute to post-secondary educational expenses.

"No parent shall be ordered to pay an amount in excess of fifty percent of the undergraduate, in-state resident costs of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, unless the Court enters written findings that a parent has the ability to pay a higher amount."

Forms

Selected cases

Web sources

Child support for children 18-22, Mass. Legal Help, reviewed July 2023.
Provides discussion of what a judge looks at when considering child support over the age of 18.

Ending a child support order, Mass Legal Help, 2013.
"If both parents do not agree the order has ended, then going to court to get a judge to decide may be the best thing to do. If both parents agree it may still be the best thing to ask the court to end the order."

Five key changes to Massachusetts child support guidelines, JD Supra, 2021.

Print sources

Family law and practice, 4th ed., (Mass. Practice v. 2), Thomson Reuters 2013 with supplement. Section 50:50 Expenses of College Education.   

Financial aspects of divorce in Massachusetts, MCLE, 2nd ed., 2023. Chapter 9: Payment of children's college education.

LexisNexis practice guide: Massachusetts family law, LexisNexis, annual. 
Chapter 7: Child support, Part VI: obtaining orders for child support and college education expenses for children between the ages of 18 and 23.

Massachusetts domestic relations, 5th ed., by John G. DiPiano et al., Lexis Publishing, loose-leaf with current release. Chapter 10 Part K Support of Those Children Ages 18-23.

Contact   for Massachusetts law about child support over age 18

Last updated: March 1, 2024

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