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When Do Child Support Obligations End?

Representing Broward County, Florida and surrounding areas

Many people, if asked, probably would say that a parent is no longer responsible for paying child support payments when a child turns 18 years of age. Child support continues through the graduation of high school if the child graduates prior to reaching age 19.

Although this is true, there are other reasons when the obligation to pay child support stops.

Emancipation

Child support obligations can also cease if a child is emancipated. Emancipation basically means that the child is "beyond the control, custody and care of the parents."

Emancipation often occurs when:

  • A child petitions the court to request emancipation from his or her parents
  • A child marries
  • Enlists in the armed forces

  • Becomes financially self-sufficient

Instances That Mandate Support Past The Age Of Majority

There are, alternately, instances that mandate continued support past the age of majority and include:

  • College tuition and expenses: Some parents may still be required to help pay for college tuition and related expenses for children past the age of 18 if agreed by the parties and ordered by the court. Courts consider several factors including but not limited to the parent's previous desire to contribute to the child's education prior to the divorce, the parent's ability to pay and whether the support would create an economic hardship on the parent.
  • A child with a disability: Parents typically must continue to provide child support past the age of majority for children who are disabled before the age of 18. However, if the child becomes disabled past the age of majority, parents may no longer be responsible for care.

Do You Have Additional Questions? Contact Us.

For more information about child support obligations, reach out to our law office in Pembroke Pines. Jerome Ventura, our experienced family law attorney, can explain the child support laws and answer questions as they pertain to your circumstance.

Call 954-399-5850. Flexible appointments are available.