When does child support end is a question asked by many women as they face the prospect of their children leaving home. What if my child enlists in the military or goes off to college? Will child support stop if my daughter is pregnant? A lot will depend on what was written into your divorce decree and if your state would consider your child emancipated. Below you will find answers to these and similar questions.
Terry's Question: My son will turn 18 next month. Will I stop receiving child support at that time, even though he is still in high school and living at home with me? At what point does my ex's obligation end?
Brette's Answer: Check your court order. In most states child support continues past age 18 if the child is still living at home and attending high school. You can also contact the child support agency for assistance in determining the child support end date.
Michelle's Question: My children's father and I have decided to get back together and possibly move in together. Can I drop the current child support? Am I able to re-file for child support if our relationship goes south in the future and we discontinue our relationship?
Brette's Answer: Child support orders should be officially canceled by the court. If not, he could continue to be liable and owe back support. You can re-file if you break up again.
Autumn's Question: If I get remarried to another man does my child support end, or can my ex stop paying it?
Brette's Answer: Neither. He can seek to modify it is your household income has changed though.
Faith's Question: How do I know if my child support will end when my child turns 18? Who do I contact?
Brette's Answer: If it is collected by your state child collection support unit, call them. Otherwise, consult your court order.
Ann's Question: I don't have a question, just a comment. After a child turns 18, IF the dad is behind on child support, he still has to pay. I think it is misleading to say the non-custodial parent doesn't have to pay after 18.
Brette's Answer: Child support ends at 18 in most states (it is important to check with an attorney because it may continue to 21 or as long as a child is in school). Arrears (unpaid back child support) continue to be due even if regular child support ends.
Karen's Question: Does my husband have to continue paying child support if his son drops out of school?
Brette's Answer: It depends on whether your son becomes emancipated (living independently).
Tracy's Question: Does child support end if your child is 16 and disabled and has been in a home hospital program for school for two years because he cannot attend a public school! He's bed ridden most of the day. He's thinking about getting his GED so he doesn't have a teacher come to the house anymore! Would the child support end if he gets his GED (but I will obviously still have to care for him until who knows when)?
Brette's Answer: You need to talk to your attorney because your order may state if the child is not in school support ends. You will want to modify your order to continue.
Nivia's Question: I was 17 and still in school when I joined the National Guard. Did I become emancipated? If so, does my father still have to continue paying child support for me?
Brette's Answer: It depends. If you went to boot camp, you probably were emancipated during that period, but if you moved back in with your parent, you may have become un-emancipated. It depends on whether the National Guard paid you a stipend and what kind of support it provided and what kind of support you relied upon from your parents. It may also depend on whether they were in agreement with you joining. There's no clear cut answer here and it would be up to a court to consider all the circumstances and make a ruling.
Sabrina's Question: If my son joins the army after high school, will I have to pay child support at that point?
Brette: No. Joining the armed forces is emancipation and child support ends. Consult your lawyer about the details of your case and your state law.
Victoria's Question: My boyfriend is paying child support on his 17 year old son. His son told him that he has gotten a full scholarship to college and will be living on campus. Will his child support then stop since the mother will not be providing anything for this child?
Brette's Answer: No. Even a child on a full scholarship requires financial support since the scholarship covers only the cost of the education and not the other necessities. Good luck.
Sandra's Question: I receive $100 per wk. for child support per our divorce papers. I'm going to buy it a trailer and let my daughter stay there for free. I provide her food; pay her bills, her auto insurance, etc. My ex has said he will not pay child support anymore because she doesn't live with me. She will start college in the fall and he is supposed to pay support thru 2 years of college. My divorce papers say he has to pay until my child marries, becomes self-supportive, or dies. I think he still has to pay, am I correct?
Brette's Answer: Based on what you've said, it sounds like it. Good luck
Lisa's Question: My daughter had to drop her college classes because she is going to be deployed. Child support enforcement told me she would no longer receive child support because she was not in college, even though it was not by choice. What, if anything, can I do to appeal this if they say she is no longer entitled to child support even when she goes back to college?
Brette's Answer: Usually enlistment in the armed services means the child is emancipated and the child support obligation ends.
Destanie's Question: Does the father still have to pay support if the daughter (who is 17) gets pregnant? What about whenever she has the baby?
Brette's Answer: The answer depends on whether the daughter has become emancipated - moved out and is independent. If she still is being supported by her parents, child support is still paid.
Jessica's Question: My stepdaughter was recently pregnant at 17 and will be 18 soon. The baby died and now she no longer goes to school. She plans on getting her GED and moving out. When does child support end and does my husband still obligated for child support if she does this?
Brette's Answer: Once she is emancipated (living on her own) child support is no longer due. He needs to get the order changed though to reflect that.
Jen's Question: I'm currently getting child support with arrears included. My youngest daughter was told by her father to get emancipated, and the arrears would go directly to her. Is this true?
Brette's Answer: When a child becomes emancipated, no child support is due - to the parent or the child.
Renee's Question: My boyfriend’s ex just recently passed away and he was paying her child support. What happens to the payments now and where do they go? What should he do?
Brette's Answer: He doesn't need to do anything. The obligation ends with her death. If he does not obtain custody of his child he may end up having to pay whomever has legal custody of the child moving forward though.
Tara's Question: My mother passed away two years ago. She was receiving child support from my father, and had a debit card that the money went onto. After she passed away, the card got shut off. Am I entitled to the child support that was on the card, and until I was 18? I am pretty sure that he owes back child support as well. I'm living on my own in Maine and don't have a job. I need the money for clothing and food.
Brette's Answer: Since I'm assuming you are your mother's heir, you ought to inherit the money, in addition to being able to sue for any back support which is owed. If you aren't her heir, the money technically belongs to your mom's estate and the person inheriting the estate will get the money. On another note, if you haven't yet turned 18, your father is still obligated to support you and I'm assuming custody would have reverted back to him. However, it sounds as though you are emancipated since you're living on your own. In that case, he doesn't have any responsibility to help you financially. Have you thought about trying to talk to him and patch things up? You should get in touch with the Maine social services or department of family and children and ask them if there are any programs which can help you.
Kris' Question: Is my eighteen year old daughter allowed to attend, (and worse off, testify against me!!) the emancipation hearing in court? Isn't this ONLY between me and her father? She is NOT living on her own, she lives with me, my father and my step-mother.
Brette's Answer: If she is a witness, she will be called to testify.
Daniela's Question: Do I still have to pay child support after the death of my child?
Brette's Answer: No. Child support continues only while the child is alive.