On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Whether you’re a parent who is legally required to send payments to the other parent or are a parent on the receiving end, it’s equally important to know when child support ends.
If you were ordered child support obligations to make payments, you’re probably wondering how many more years you have to put up with this (and probably also wondering how to put an end to child support payments).
If you’re the one who is receiving child support, not knowing legal guidelines and limits of child support and alimony can catch you off guard when those payments eventually stop coming in.
When Does Child Support End? Age of Majority
Our Fort Lauderdale child support attorney Gustavo E. Frances explains that even though under Florida laws child support ends when the child turns 18, child support payments may continue even after that age.
For example, a parent may request child support payments to continue even beyond 18 if the child is still living with the parent at home and has not graduated from high school. Also, a parent caring for a child with special needs will most likely be able to extend child support even after the child reaches the age of majority.
In Florida and most other states of our nation, child support ends when a child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes first. Speaking in legal terms, this is when the child reaches the “age of majority,” our attorneys explain.
However, the receiving child support parent may go to court to request continuation of payments even beyond age 18, as the “age of majority” refers to the age when individuals can make a certain legal decision on their own. But it’s possible to extend child support if the parent can prove that the child, for some reason, is not capable of making a legal decision on his or her own.
Emancipation Can Put An End to Child Support
In Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere in Florida, there are many cases when child support ends when a child becomes “emancipated.” Our lawyers at The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A. explain that the term “emancipated” refers to individuals who no longer require financial support from their parents.
For example, a minor – who hasn’t reached the age of majority – can be considered “emancipated” when he or she gets a job and becomes economically independent, gets married, leaves home, or in other situations when the child no longer requires the financial support of either of his or her parents.
It’s highly advised to hire a Fort Lauderdale child support lawyer to be able to prove that the child became emancipated in order to release yourself from the obligation to provide child support payments.
You Can Modify The Child Support Agreement
A child support agreement can also be modified by two parents under certain circumstances. Although it may not necessarily end child support, it can change its terms and conditions and even shift the burden of child support payments from one parent to another.
A parent is eligible to seek child support modification in case of loss of a job, reduction of income, change in marital status, relocation, proving domestic violence or child abuse, death, violation of the agreed-upon parent visitation schedule, and others.
Do not attempt to negotiate a child support modification or reversal with the other parent on your own. Seek the legal help of a child support lawyer in order for the new agreement to have legal value.
Child Support Won’t End Automatically
Do note, however, that child support payments never end automatically. It is the legal duty of the parent who makes child support payments on request to end child support when the child reaches the age of majority or when other factors apply.
If you feel that the current child support deal no longer works for you and you can no longer afford to make such payments to the other parent – or you want to modify or end child support for any other reason – speak to our attorneys at The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A. immediately.