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Son dropped out of school to join the Military, Child Support stops?

Discussion in 'Child Support' started by JLarin6652, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. JLarin6652

    JLarin6652 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Mississippi
    I have a 20 year old son that was enrolled full time in College, but has recently dropped out to join the military. I know in MS you pay Child Support until age the "child" turns 21 or until the child is otherwise emancipated; joining the military constitutes emancipation as far as I been able to research.
    What I would like to make sure is, if the fact that he has dropped out of school completely is enough reason to stop the payments or if we have to wait until he physically joins the military.

    Additional info: There was never a court order, I am paying by mutual agreement.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You wait until he reports for active duty and waves bye bye from the bus (or train). That's his official enlistment date and the date from which he starts earning pay.

    Since CS was by mutual agreement she should understand that she gets no more CS once your son is earning his own pay and supporting himself.

    As a Private E-1 he'll be making $1554 per month for the first 4 months and $1681 after 4 months until he is promoted to E-2 at which time his pay will be $1884. Figures are from the 2019 Military Pay Charts:

    2019 Military Pay Charts | Military Benefits

    Depending on what military occupation specialty he enlisted for, he might even be getting an enlistment bonus.

    He will have precious little to spend his money on for a while because he is likely to be restricted to base at least during the first two months basic training, maybe not so much for advanced training.

    Write to him a couple of times a week. Nothing a boot likes better then mail call. Send cookies, too. He'll be real popular. My bunk mates used to line up for my grandmother's chocolate chip cookies.
     
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  3. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Since you have no legal obligation to pay, you can stop the payments at any time without being penalized by the courts.
     
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  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Well, he does have a "legal obligation" to pay. The absence of a court order does not change that. A court order could ensue were he not to pay until his son's active duty date.
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    I hear what you're saying, but I gotta disagree. Until a court order is in place, the OP has no legal obligation to pay the other parent anything towards child support.

    ETA: The "child" is 20. No court order will be put in place at this point.
     
  6. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Does that include a court order establishing paternity?

    No court order = no legal obligation to pay.
     
  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Further to what I said above: I would agree that a parent has a legal obligation to support his/her child, but payment of child support to the other parent is not a legal obligation until a court says so.
     
  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    That's what I was saying.
     
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  9. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    You are overlooking one thing: they have a mutual agreement to pay, which very likely means a contract to pay the support. So while the OP would not face any sanctions for violating a court order, he still could be required by the courts to pay as per the contract that he has to pay the support. A lot depends, of course, on the terms of that agreement.
     
  10. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    ...not the least of which is whether such an "agreement" would even rise to the level of a contract.
     
  11. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    And why wouldn't it?
     
  12. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    What has the other party given up?
     
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  13. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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  14. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Hypothetically (which all of this is), a lack of consideration. While the term "mutual agreement" could be read to imply that there is consideration flowing both ways, I doubt the OP is sufficiently sophisticated to warrant such an inference.

    Your link is bad. Here's a link to the current (2018) version (although I doubt if anything changed).

    Which subsection of the statute of frauds do you think might apply? This situation does not involve a "special promise to answer for the debt or default or miscarriage of another person," and the OP provided no indication that his promise to pay support related to an "agreement made upon consideration of marriage," a "contract for the sale of lands, tenements, or hereditaments, or the making of any lease thereof for a longer term than one year," or a "special promise by an executor or administrator to answer any debt or damage out of his own estate."

    If you're thinking subsection (d) applies ("any agreement which is not to be performed within the space of fifteen months from the making thereof"), not only do we not know when the agreement was made, but this portion of the statute of frauds typically applies only to contracts which, under no conceivable set of circumstances, can be fully performed within the time specified (in most states, it's a year). A contract to pay support for a child could easily be fully performed in less than 15 months because the child could die at any time.
     
  15. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    It was the "any agreement which is not to be performed within the space of fifteen months from the making thereof" section I was what I thought might apply. I think it is safe to assume that child support for a now 20-year-old child was agreed upon more than 15 months ago but I could be wrong.

    I don't see any wording that it only applies if there is no conceivable set of circumstances that it could be completed sooner but you're the lawyer.
     
  16. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Again, the details of the agreement matter. But one obvious possibility is that the recipient of the child support has agreed to forego pursuing a child support order in the courts in exchange for the contract for the payments.
     
  17. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    That is the typical interpretation of that "prong" of the SOF. One would need to research Mississippi case law to see if that's how MS courts interpret it, but I've never heard of a state that doesn't use that interpretation.
     
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  18. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    There is no child support order to forgo at this point.
     
  19. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    It would be the "pursuit" of the order that the ex would forgo.
     
  20. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Well-Known Member

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    Ah, but the agreement was apparently made before the child was emancipated, and thus there was likely the option to pursue the court ordered child support at the time the agreement was made. Giving up that option in exchange for the agreement would constitute valid consideration.
     

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