When Child Support Ends
Child Support Ends Eventually
Child support normally ends when the child reaches 18 years of age unless the child continues to be economically dependent on the parent by reason of health or education. So if your child continues in post-secondary education beyond the age of 18, you’ll continue to support them. Generally, what happens is if the child is away from home for university or college, then you and your spouse share the cost of their child’s education in proportion to your incomes, and the child is expected to make a reasonable contribution to their own education as well.
Usually, base monthly child support is not paid when the child is away from a university, but it is paid if the child comes home and is residing at home during the summer months. If the child is at home and attending a local college or university, then there’s base child support to pay, as well as a proportionate sharing of the cost of the education. As with most things in family law there are exceptions to the rule. Each case is considered on its own merits.
Can Child Support Payments be Indefinite?
Some states allow maintenance to continue as long as the child is still living at home, attending secondary school or has special needs. It is not uncommon for child support to be paid for children in higher education up to the age of 26 and for children with special needs child support can be paid indefinitely.
In some states, the law requires that child support cease when the child reaches the age of majority. This refers to the legal age set by state law when a person is no longer a minor and can make certain legal decisions on their own behalf. When a child turns 18 or finishes school, the support for your child will end.
In other states, the age may be 21, but it is important to check the laws of your state to see if that age applies to you or if there are other circumstances that would prolong maintenance. The term emancipation refers to a court process in which a minor becomes independent. Minors can also be emancipated when they reach adulthood, when they marry, join the military, leave home, or become economically independent.
Under these circumstances, the parent is no longer obliged to pay maintenance. Some states allow the continuation of support if the support is used to finance the child’s education by attending college, university or secondary school. If a child lives in a state that does not offer college support, parents can include provisions for the duration of their maintenance contract.
Financial Support for Children in College
In the United States, the age at which child support ends can vary by state and is often determined by state law. In some states, child support may continue until the child reaches the age of majority, which is typically 18 years old. In other states, child support may continue until the child graduates from high school, which is often around age 18, or until the child turns 19.
However, in some cases, child support may continue beyond these ages if the child attends college or another post-secondary educational institution. In these cases, child support may continue until the child completes their education or reaches a certain age, depending on the laws of the state where the child support order was issued.
Support for Disabled Children
The courts have made it easier than ever for parents to care for a disabled or disabled child. Since courts often consider disability to be economic hardship, parents can receive support as long as they provide adequate care for the disabled and / or their child.
Sometimes changes to the current child support system are needed, and parents can request a change in maintenance law to reduce child support payments. This is a court order and can significantly reduce or increase the amount of support a parent receives or reduce the amount of support they receive. Sometimes, changes in the law mean parents have to pay back more or less child support.
If you find that your child support obligation has expired, you can contact your state maintenance authority to set an end date for child support, or speak to a lawyer to discuss your specific rights and obligations. Maintenance payments do not end automatically, and a person obliged to pay child support must apply for a court order to end their obligation to pay child support until the child has reached legal age or the minor child has been emancipated.
The key is to learn as much as possible about your maintenance obligations and when child support ends, as well as your rights and obligations under the law.
Apply to end or modify Child Support Early
The specific steps required to make an application to end child support payments may vary depending on the laws of the jurisdiction in which the child support order was issued. However, here are some general steps that may apply:
- Review the child support order: Before applying to end child support payments, it’s important to review the original child support order to understand the terms and conditions of the agreement.
- Determine the reason for ending support: There are various reasons why child support payments may be terminated, such as when the child reaches the age of majority, if the child is emancipated, or if there has been a significant change in circumstances. It’s important to determine the reason for ending support before proceeding.
- Gather documentation: Depending on the reason for ending support, you may need to gather documentation to support your request. For example, if the child has reached the age of majority, you may need to provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate or other documentation to prove their age.
- Complete the necessary forms: In many cases, you will need to complete a formal application or petition to end child support payments. These forms may be available through your state’s child support agency or family court.
- File the application: Once you have completed the necessary forms and gathered any required documentation, you will need to file the application with the appropriate court or agency. You may need to pay a filing fee and serve notice to the other parent.
- Attend a hearing: Depending on the circumstances, you may be required to attend a hearing to present your case for ending child support payments. This hearing may be conducted in person or virtually.
Mary Newman is a child support expert and the go-to authority on all matters related to child support on the ChildSupportHub.com website. With over 20 years of experience, Mary has developed a deep understanding of child support laws, regulations, and procedures, making her an invaluable free resource for parents navigating the complexities of child support. Her extensive experience has given her unique insights into the challenges that parents face when dealing with child support issues, and she is passionate about helping parents understand their rights and obligations. Mary is deeply committed to helping parents understand their options when it comes to child support. Mary's goal is to help parents achieve a fair and equitable child support arrangement that benefits both the children and the parents.