Today, in a case known as Ex Parte Christopher, the Alabama Supreme Court in a 6-2 decision reversed a 1989 case known as Ex Parte Bayliss, which had declared that child support could extend past age 19 if the child was in college and meeting other requirements. This has been known as the Bayliss standard for “post-minority” support, and thousands of Alabamians have such a requirement in their divorce decree or custody order. In its ruling today, the Court said that the Bayliss Court erred in holding that Alabama law allowed support to be extended for a child who reaches the age of majority (19 in Alabama). This decision could also spell the end of the other type of post-minority support for disabled children which was established by a 1983 case, Ex Parte Brewington, but that issue will likely be decided in a different case soon.
The Court ruled that this decision DOES NOT overturn old cases that contained provisions for post-minority support, but it does mean that pending cases that are not final and all new cases cannot include support for college beyond age 19.