For many divorced Texas parents, child support payments, whether they are being made or received, are a simple fact of life. However, when child support comes to an end, it can impact parents’ finances, especially if the parent has been receiving child support payments for years. In most cases, child support ends when the child turns 18; however, there are instances where child support may end before the age of 18 or after.
In all states, child support may end when the child reaches what is called the age of majority. In the state of Texas, this is when the child either graduates from high school or turns 18. However, in some cases, the noncustodial parent may agree to continue to provide child support until the child is 21 if they are attending college. Additionally, if the child has special needs or is disabled, the child support payments may be extended.
On the other end, child support payments may cease if the child becomes emancipated from their parents before the age of 18. This occurs if the child becomes married, leaves home or becomes financially independent from their parent. Under these circumstances, the noncustodial parent does not have to provide the custodial parent with any more child support.
While may seem straight forward, it should be noted that a noncustodial parent cannot simply stop sending payments. A family law attorney may assist the noncustodial parent with requesting that their obligation for making child support payments be ended due to the child reaching the age of majority or because they have become emancipated. Additionally, if the noncustodial parent still has an obligation but their financial situation has changed, the attorney may assist with modifying the order to help lower the payments required.