If you have been paying child support after a child custody agreement was reached, you may be wondering how long you will need to pay each month. While most states recognize the age of majority, which is the term for when a child is old enough to legally be an adult, is 18 years old, there can be other factors that could change how long you need to pay child support. If you are wondering how the process works as your child approaches the age of 18, speaking with a family law attorney may be helpful to make sure all of your bases are covered. For some general knowledge about the subject, continue reading.
Your divorce decree
If you are already divorced, your decree should have that information within the decree.
Legally becoming an adult
The transition from child to adult is referred to as emancipation. This is a legal term and effects both the child and the parent. While the child no longer is under the control of the parents, the parents are also no longer legally responsible for their child, including with child support payments.
In most cases, children are emancipated from their parents when they turn 18 years old and has graduated High School. But depending on the state you live in or the circumstances, it is possible for your child to be emancipated earlier. Visit our website blog section for more information on emancipation.
How long you must pay child support depends on how many children you have. If you have more then one child, when the oldest turns 18, or otherwise emancipated, you may have to file a motion to adjust child support when the last child turns 18 or your 18-year-old graduates, child support should automatically cease.
There are some situations in which you may continue to pay child support after your child turns 18 years old. Mental or physical challenges that prevent a child from becoming fully independent can be reasons for the court to extend child support payments. In some cases, a person can achieve emancipation at an older age if they can prove they can take care of themselves.
If your child was held back in their education or hasn’t graduated by 18, you may still have to continue paying child support until they graduate from high school.
Understanding the nuances of your situation will help you determine if you will need to continue paying child support after your child turns 18 years old. In all likelihood, you won’t have to pay child support beyond the normal age of majority. If you have questions regarding how long you will need to pay child support, contact your family law attorney to ask some specific questions about your situation.
If you are in Las Vegas, NV, and need to have some legal questions answered regarding child support, give the team at Warnock Family Law a call today.