By statute, child support payments terminate when the child reaches the age of 18 except: (a) if the child is otherwise emancipated, payments terminate at that time; (b) if the child is still in primary or secondary school when the child reaches age 18, support payments continue until the child graduates, otherwise ceases to attend school on a regular basis, fails to make satisfactory academic progress towards graduation, or reaches age 20, whichever comes first, unless the court in its discretion orders that payments cease at age 18 or prior to high school graduation. Effective October 1, 2012, the North Carolina legislature revised the child support statute to further provide that: “If the child is enrolled in a cooperative innovative high school program…, then payments shall terminate when the child completes his or her fourth year of enrollment or when the child reaches the age of 18, whichever occurs later.” This revision applies to children who attend a program of dual enrollment in high school and community college.
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