Howell v. Goode

In Howell v. Goode, 223 W. Va. 387, 674 S.E.2d 248, 249 (W. Va. 2009), the mother appealed the trial court's order, which terminated the father's child support obligation when the child was enrolled in high school until the age of twenty. Although the parties' child had completed the minimum requirements for his high school graduation, the administration recommended an additional year of schooling because of the child's special education needs. Id. at 250. The West Virginia statute read in relevant part, as follows: Upon a specific finding of good cause shown . . ., an order for child support may . . . continue beyond the date when the child reaches the age of eighteen, so long as the child is unmarried and residing with a parent, guardian or custodian and is enrolled as a full-time student in a secondary educational or vocational program and making substantial progress towards a diploma: Provided, That such payments may not extend past the date that the child reaches the age of twenty. Id. at 251. The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals concluded that "the legislature did not specify that child support would cease when the child became eligible to receive a diploma based upon satisfactory completion of minimum educational requirements." Id. at 252. There was good cause to continue child support since the child had a learning disability and he was "making substantial progress towards a diploma." See id. at 254.