A parent’s obligation to pay child support to the other parent can be a heavy financial burden. That burden can be especially challenging when the parent paying support is forced to wonder whether, due to a child’s age and circumstances, the support they are paying is still going towards the child or being used to supplement the other parent’s lifestyle. There are certain events in a child’s life of which a paying parent should be mindful. If any of these events occurs, the paying parent should consider conferring with an attorney to discuss whether the particular event could or should trigger a change or termination of child support:
Your child has reached the age of 18: In some circumstances child support may terminate when a child turns 18; however, if your child is enrolled in high school or college on his or her eighteenth birthday, child support will likely continue past the child’s eighteenth birthday.
Your child gets married: The marriage of your child, regardless of where that child resides or his or her school enrollment status, may trigger an end to your child support obligation.
Your child is physically or mentally incapacitated: Your child’s special needs may impact the amount and duration of child support
Your child joins the military: A child who joins the military, regardless of age, may no longer be entitled to support.
Your child’s school status changes: Graduation from school, withdrawal from school, or failing grades in school may trigger a termination of child support.
Your child has reached the age of 21: Even if a child is a student at the age of twenty-one, child support may terminate at this age.
Your child resides with you: If a child previously lived with the other parent when a child support order was entered but now resides with you, child support may terminate, sometimes temporarily and sometimes permanently.
Your child moves out on his or her own: A child who no longer lives with either parent may not be entitled to child support, regardless of age.
Your child is employed full-time: If a child becomes employed full-time or is otherwise capable of supporting himself or herself, child support may no longer be appropriate.
Determining the amount, duration, and mechanism of child support payments is a case-specific inquiry. A person considering bringing an action to modify or terminate child support should confer with legal counsel to discuss the specific circumstances involved in his or her case. At the Thurman Law Firm, we would be happy to discuss these and other family law related matters with you. Please contact David Senkel or Hallie Van Duren at (636) 797-2601 to discuss your case.