Child support payments commonly stop at the age of 18, when the child is expected to be able to fend for himself/herself independently. A number of states, nevertheless, allow child support to go beyond the age of 18 years in cases where the child is still living at home and going to high school, or if the child is of special needs.
In addition, parents must take actions to terminate the payment of child support as provided in the court order. Otherwise, you risk paying or receiving payments above the normal child support end date.
Although the guidelines differ from state to state, child support commonly gets terminated when the child reaches the age of majority, starts attending college, dies, or gets married.
When does a child cease to be a minor?
The legal statutes in all states allow a child to keep receiving child support till he or she reaches the age of majority. The “age of majority” means the legal age set up under the state’s law to represent when a child ceases to be a minor and can take definite legal decisions on their own.
In a majority of states, child support terminates when a child turns 18 or when he or she graduates from high school, whichever one is the first to take place. The age of majority in some states is 21 years. Due to the fact that the age of majority differs broadly from state to state, it is essential to review the law of your state and if there are circumstances that can warrant the extension of child support.
When is a minor considered “Emancipated”
The term “emancipation” means a court procedure through which a minor can become self-sufficient and no longer needs any support from his or her parents. A minor may happen to be “emancipated” prior to the time he attains the age of majority, when he or she gets married, joins the military, lives on his/her own or turns out to be financially independent. Under situations like that, a parent will no more be obliged to pay for child support.
Cases of payment of child support beyond the age of majority
1. If your child is still in college and needs support to finish his/her college education
A number of states make provisions for the child support to be paid beyond the age of majority like when the support is meant to be paid for the child’s education in the college, university or any other post-secondary level education. In addition, if a child resides in a state that does not give college support, a parent may incorporate provisions for the child’s education in their child support agreement.
2. If your child is disabled and requires a special and continual assistance
Courts make exceptions for extra child support for parents who are taking care of disabled children or children with special needs. Since courts frequently view disability in regards to financial difficulty, a parent is commonly permitted to receive support far beyond the age of majority. This is to provide for the needs of the disabled or for a child in special need.
3. When the child is a major, what you can do to end child support payment
Child support payments do not end routinely. The parent who is obliged to pay child support has to file a request to the court for their legal binding to be terminated as soon as the child reaches the age of majority or if a minor is emancipated.
A child support attorney would be in a better position to help you figure out when your child support payments end.