It’s important that a child has the financial support they need to live comfortably after their parents divorce. Child support is designed to make sure that children have the financial support of both parents, much like they would in a two-parent household.
Child support payments are set based on factors like how old a child is, if there are daycare expenses, the financial situations of the parents and other financial responsibilities that the parents need to cover. Then, the payments are set for a period of time.
Paying support? Expect to pay until your child’s an adult
The majority of parents can expect to pay child support until their children reach the age of majority, which is 18. They may also have to cover support until their children graduate from high school. For example, if your child is 20 and just graduated from high school, then you would likely be able to stop paying support at that time. Instead of just supporting them through the age of majority, the court would expect you to pay until they graduated.
Sometimes, it’s possible for child support obligations to end before the age of 18 or when your child graduates from high school. For instance, if your child is emancipated, then you will no longer have to pay child support.
It’s also possible to have to pay child support indefinitely. If your child has a disability, you may be expected to cover child support until they are able to support themselves or perpetually, depending on the circumstances.
Is it possible to reduce the support you pay?
Sometimes, you can ask to reduce how much child support you pay. If you lose a job, get a better job, have new financial responsibilities that you cannot avoid or can prove that your situation requires a support modification, then you may be able to change how much you pay. This could help if you’re having a hard time making payments due to other financial obligations, like paying a mortgage or covering your child’s special medical care. These are a few things to consider as you think about how long you will need to cover support obligations.