I was recently presented with a question about child support. An unrepresented party had been asked to her ex-spouse’s attorney’s under the pretext of clearing up some questions about child support. While at this meeting, the lawyer stated that the child would be turning 18 and would she be okay with stopping child support at that time. Believing that this was the standard time for child support to end anyway, she said ‘sure’. This is exactly the kind of underhanded tactics that gives lawyering a bad name.
Kentucky law (KRS 403.213(3)) provides for child support to continue past age 18 for any dependent child that is still in high school. Child support continues on through the school year in which the child turns 19 unless spelled out differently in the Decree of Dissolution. This woman had two more years of child support coming to her. The shameless lawyer did not advise her of this nor of the desirability for her to obtain advise of counsel before agreeing.
I so wish that I could advise people that they can trust lawyers because of our high ethical standards. I hope that by and large that they can, but these few bad lawyers makes such advise inadvisable. Instead, I must advise everyone to seek counsel for yourself before agreeing to something with opposing counsel.