As a parent paying for or receiving child support, you may be concerned about the exact duration of the payment period so you can plan accordingly. The financial cost of supporting a child can be expensive, which is why it is vital to understand what exactly your child support is for and how long it will be paid. Our child support attorneys at Law Offices of Christopher L. Hoglin, P.C. share what you should understand about the end period for child support payments.
Ends At the Age of 18
Child support naturally terminates on your child’s eighteenth birthday unless the child is still in high school. Then, child support payments will terminate when your child graduates from high school unless your child turns 19 while still in high school or the child moves out of their parents’ homes. This natural termination of child support allows for your child to become a legal adult and prepare a plan for their own financial support before their child support payments are terminated.
Special Extensions for Child Support
There may be certain circumstances where child support can be extended past the child’s eighteenth birthday or high school graduation. Child support payments can be extended if:
- Both parents agree to continue child support payments after the natural termination date to help support the child, or
- The adult child has a disability and is unable to financially support themself as a result of the disability.
If both parents agree to continue the support payments, they can choose to set a termination date on their own or can come to an agreement later regarding the continued support of their adult children. This option is commonly used by parents who are continuing to support their children as they pursue higher education, such as a bachelor’s degree, master's degree, or vocational training.
However, the court may order the continued support of the adult child with a disability if the court finds the child cannot reasonably financially provide for themself. If you believe your child with a disability will never be able to financially support themself, you should consult a trusted family law attorney to learn more about how to obtain this court order approving continued support for the child.
Reasons Why Child Support Would End Early
Child support can terminate earlier than its natural end date for a variety of reasons. This includes if the child:
- Marries or enters a domestic partnership,
- Enlists in the military, which has a minimum age of 17 for enlistment,
- Becomes emancipated from their parents, or
- Passes away.
For child support to terminate early, the child must engage in one of the four above qualifying events while one parent continues to actively pay child support or before their 18th birthday or high school graduation. As shared above, child support payments can continue if the parents both agree and desire to support their child after marriage or military enlistment.
If your child support terminates because your child successfully becomes emancipated or passes away, you will no longer send or receive child support payments unless you are catching up on payments or need to send back payments. This hard termination of child support is a result of no longer being financially responsible for your child after their emancipation or passing.
Pasadena Child Support Attorneys
It can be difficult navigating your child support payments, especially if your child is close to the age of termination of payments or is approaching a qualifying termination event. Our child support attorneys at Law Offices of Christopher L. Hoglin, P.C. are here to help you understand your child support obligations and review your current situation.
Are you approaching the end of your scheduled child support payments? Are you unsure when your child support will end? Schedule a consultation with our child support attorney today to learn more about how we can help you. 📞: (626) 653-4075