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Franklin Divorce Attorney > Blog > Family > When Can I Stop Paying Child Support?

When Can I Stop Paying Child Support?


The purpose of child support is to ensure that your child’s standard of living is maintained with both parents after a divorce or paternity action. Both parents have a duty to financially support their child, but there comes a time when that child is expected to financially care for themselves. One of the most common questions that our skilled Franklin family law attorneys are asked has to do with when a parent can stop making child support payments. At Fort, Holloway, & Rogers our experienced attorneys can assist with this and all other questions related to your child support case. To learn more, call or contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

When the Child Turns Eighteen Years Old

Generally speaking, child support ends for a parent when the child turns eighteen years old. At eighteen, a child is considered a legal adult, and as such they are expected to be able to financially support themselves. However, there are circumstances when a parent may be obligated to continue support beyond their child’s eighteenth birthday.

When the Child Graduates from High School

One such exception to the rule that child support ends on the child’s eighteenth birthday is when the child is still in high school during this birthday. The duty to support a child continues beyond their eighteenth birthday until they graduate from their current year of high school. This does not necessarily mean that the child has to completely graduate from high school as a senior, but support does continue through the academic year of their eighteenth birthday.

When the Child Becomes Legally Independent

Child support also ends if the child becomes legally independent prior to their eighteenth birthday. Two of the most common examples of this include getting married and emancipating as a minor. In both cases, the duty of financial responsibility is shifted from the parents to someone else, either the child themselves or their new spouse, which ends the obligation of the parent to pay child support.

When Determined by a Parenting Agreement

Finally, child support may end at a completely different time that is established by the terms of a parenting agreement. In many cases, the parents may agree to continue support to a specific time or until a specific triggering event occurs. Supporting a child until they are nineteen or twenty-one years old is common, as is agreeing to financially support a child until they graduate from college. To learn more about when you may be able to end your child support obligation, talk to our office today.

Talk to Our Office Today

Do you have questions about when you are entitled to stop paying child support or are facing other issues regarding child support payments as a custodial or noncustodial parent? If so, the experienced attorneys at Fort, Holloway & Rogers in Williamson County are here to help. Call the office or contact us today to schedule a consultation of your case now.

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