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When do I stop paying child support?

Child custody and support are essential topics during divorce proceedings. Parents could have conflicting opinions on these matters. However, the court could intervene and settle child support issues.

The court could determine the amount, duration and other parameters for paying child support based on the situation. Still, these arrangements could have limitations based on the family’s circumstances, including how long parents need to make the payments.

Typically, a parent’s child support obligations end based on the following conditions:

  • The child becomes 18 years old.
  • The child graduates from high school (age not exceeding 19 years).
  • The court grants the child support modification stopping payments if requested by the parent after losing their source of income.

Sometimes, the family’s unique circumstances could extend the parent’s child support obligations. Child support orders could also go beyond emancipation for permanently disabled children. Additionally, the parent must pay for overdue child support regardless of these conditions.

What factors could affect child support?

Both parents and children undergo life changes that could require child support adjustments. The parent could request a modification if the changes are significant and reasonable. They could include:

  • Child’s changing needs
  • Parent’s employment status
  • Parent’s remarriage
  • Relocation
  • The child’s wishes

However, modifications could only take effect after the court granted them. Parents still need to meet child support payments based on the initial order while waiting for approval.

Divorce dissolves the marriage, not parental duties

Aside from child support, divorcing couples must also determine custody and visitation arrangements. These matters are essential in divorce because the court acknowledges that it only ends the marriage, not familial ties. After finalizing the divorce, parents remain obligated to provide for their children and help them live fulfilling lives as they grow up.

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