Child Support: A Limited-Time Order

Law Blog

Parents of minor children can expect child support to be an issue in their divorces — at least, in most cases. The only times when child support might not be ordered is when the custodial parent is wealthy and refuses it or when the parents share physical and legal child custody 50/50. For everyone else, child support is typically ordered for a fixed time period. The original child support order from the family court judge always specifies when child support is to end. Read on to find out how long child support orders can continue to apply.

Child Reaches Age of Majority

In most cases, a child that reaches the age of 18 is considered an adult, and the paying parent doesn't have to do so anymore. Not all states use 18 as the age of majority, but it is 18 or most states.

Child Reaches Educational Milestone

Some parents — and the laws in some states — extend the end of child support using a more practical number. With some teens turning 18 while they are still immersed in their senior year of high school, the 18th birthday seems too arbitrary a milestone for some. That can mean ordering child support to end once the child graduates from high school or by the age of 20 at the latest. It has also become fairly common for divorcing parents to set the graduation from college or the attainment of a bachelor's degree as the ending date of child support.

Child Becomes Emancipated

A child that reaches the age of majority is said to be an adult, but some children seek to shed their status as a child much sooner. Children under the age of majority may petition the courts for emancipation. That means they are no longer financially dependent on anyone but themselves. Parents, whether they are custodial or paying child support, are no longer required to support an emancipated child. As you might expect, emancipation is rare but often associated with toxic interpersonal relationships and wealthy or famous children who don't want their parents involved in their financial affairs.

Child Custody Orders Are Altered

The parent without full physical custody of the child is the one who is often ordered to pay child support. As time goes on, parental situations can change and child custody may move from one parent to the other for various reasons. New custody orders mean new child support and visitation orders as well.

To find out more about the ending of child support, speak to a family law attorney.


26 November 2019

injured at work? what do you do now?

Were you injured at work and fighting to get the workers compensation that you have paid into each year? Sometimes, getting those payments can be very difficult. What do you do when an employer fights the claim? Do you need a lawyer to help you through the process? How will you pay for a lawyer if you cannot even pay your electric bill? You are probably as lost as I was when I went through the process. Fortunately, you can learn from my experience with the system and find the answers to many of the questions that you have about filing a workers comp claim and fighting the system when it is denied.