Will child support be stopped if my daughter is pregnant but still in school and living with me? 2 Answers as of January 24, 2011

Can my ex get child support stopped if our 17 year old daughter, whom he abandoned 8-9 years ago, is now pregnant but still in school? He hasn't seen or talked to her in 8-9 years. Yet, he lives in the same area. I have no contact # or address for him. After losing an attempt to take her from me based on false accusations 8-9 years agom he disappeared out of her life. He is remarried now has a son with his wife and adopted her daughter. My daughter's school called me yesterday to notify me that he went up there to inquire if our daughter was enrolled in school there. I am thinking now that he knows through the grapevine that's she's pregnant. His wife wants to get the child support stopped. The school told me by law they had to give him that information since he showed up with the divorce decree showing we had joint custody and if he wanted he could take her out of school. Yet he hasn't been in her life for almost 10 years now with no contact at all. Can he stop child support? Can he just take her out of school or attempt to pretend to be dad?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
You ask a great question. Lets start with a few facts about legal status. If your divorce decree is standard - it provides for when child support stops and pregnancy is not one of them. Therefore, the short answer is NO, at least not automatically.

That said, there is case law to support his terminating child support when the baby is born because she is then "emancipated" or a legal adult. Though this is not a "cut and dry" status - particularly if your daughter is not seeking legal adult status. The premise is tied to the fact that chid support terminates if she marries. Keep in mind that legal status was originally written when teen pregnancy was not as common as it is today. Most importantly, this is a legal argument, he would have to present to a Judge, which means he has to file a motion to modify or terminate and ask the Court, and then prove the legal standard exist and is followed in the jurisdiction, etc. (When dealing with abstract issues of law, it is not uncommon to find one jurisdiction follows a rule that another jurisdiction is not too keen upon. This is generally cured when the Texas Supreme Court takes the issue and decides which appellate judge got it right.)

Can he attempt to be Dad, absolutely. He has legal rights according to your statements. However, if he can remove her from school or not, that is a decision that you should discuss with the School. It hinges in part on their policy, the balance is based on their interpretation of your decree (unless your decree is clear and gives on party the educational decision power). Let's address that last fact first: If your decree gives you both rights, but gives you the exclusive right to make educational decisions - you win - he cannot remove your daughter from school. If, however, the decree gives you both the right to make educational decisions, the School Policy comes into play - the School officials can take the position that you as the parent with the right to establish domicile, therefore the parent whose residence determines school district (and the parent that votes for the local school board, etc.) has the final say. The school can also take the position that since your daughter is old enough to get pregnant, your daughter is old enough to decide for herself and then follow her desires. Or, the school can take the position that this is a matter for the Courts and tell your Ex to get a Judge to clear up the matter. Or . . . . I think you can see the pattern here.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 1/20/2011
Click to View More Answers: