When does Child Support End?
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 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.
When Does Child Support End 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.
It is best to seek legal advice for your specific situation, but from today on you can bind judges in maintenance and custody cases to the laws of your state.