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Does Child Support Stop At Age 18?

A big part of any divorce case with children is determining where the kids will live, figuring out a reasonable visitation schedule and/or parenting plan, and calculating a figure for child support. The cost to raise a child is high, so it is important to arrive at a child support figure that meets your kids’ needs. Another aspect of child support is determining a length of time for which the payments will be made, and in most cases the payments stop when the child reaches the age of 18. It is thought that this is the age at which a child transitions from being a kid into being an adult, and financial support is no longer necessary. However, if you are a parent, you know that the possibility your kids will still need your help long after turning 18 is great.

This begs the question of what parents are required to continue paying for after their kids reach the age of majority, and in what amount. The answer depends on your circumstances, and the circumstances of your children. If you have a special needs child, chances are you will be made to continue to provide support for that child the remainder of their life. Another circumstance that arises, and has gained some popularity lately, is the cost of post high school education. Some Courts require the parents to bear the cost of college tuition, and this is a cost that arises beyond the age of 18.

The key is to refer to the terms outlined in your child support order, and to make any necessary changes when circumstances warrant. If you have been ordered to pay for certain expenses for your kids beyond age 18, you can be held to this order. If you are receiving payments and those payments extend beyond high school graduation or your child’s 18th birthday, you should take steps to make sure there is no lapse in payment. We can help make sure the support orders in place make sense, and meet the needs of your kids regardless of their age. Call our office today to find out what to do in these special types of cases.