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When Child Support Ends

Deadbeat Hunter Answers Questions about Child Support and Emancipation

Author: Simone Spence
Date: May 23, 2011 - 2:49:23 PM


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Q: Will child support end when my child turns 18?

In some states children become emancipated at the age of 18 and in other states the stature reads that as long as the child is being fully supported by the parents and is a full time student child support continues until the age of 22.   Check your child support order or divorce decree.   It should state guidelines for emancipation for your child.   If it does not you can file for a modification for the continuance of support throughout college or at the very least throughout the end of the child’s high school career.

Q: Will child support end if my child drops out of school?

If your child has not become emancipated under the guidelines your state provides then child support is due still and payable whether or not he attends school.   Check your child support order to see if it includes emancipation guidelines.   At the very least the age of emancipation is 18.

Q: Does child support continue during college without a legal agreement?

If there is no legal agreement then there is no obligation to pay child support at any time – before or during college or for any college expenses for that matter.   Obtain a blank child support motion document as soon as possible and get it filed.   Do some research so that you know what you are asking for and make it happen.   Good Luck!

Q: Can child support be changed to include college?

Ah…the web’s we weave when we are trying to get things done too quickly or are not well-informed.   Yes, you can file for a modification of support to include college expenses as well as to continue child support until the age of 22.   Be prepared to well state your state your position as it is more difficult to get it done at this stage of the game but completely possible.   Cross your t’s, dot your I’s and go in with both guns loaded.   Good Luck!

Q: Can support be reinstated if an enlisted child returns to college after deployment?

By enlisting in the military your child automatically becomes emancipated.   Unless a separation from the military occurs and the child becomes completely dependent upon the parent for support then you would not have a case if you were to attempt to re-open the child support case.

Q: Does child support end if the child gets pregnant?

Regardless of whether the child receiving support has children of their own or not, if they have not become legally emancipated then child support remains due and payable.

Q: How is support affected when a child moves out on her own?

Once a child moves out on their own (not a full-time student) they become emancipated because they are no longer being fully supported by their parents.   The paying parent would have to make an application to the court to have the child support order stopped.

Q: Am I entitled to the child support my Mom was getting for me from my Dad when she died?

If you are your mom's heir, you should inherit any child support money already paid out which had not already been received, as well as the right to sue for past due back support. If you are not her heir, technically the money belongs to her estate and whoever inherits that, gets the money. If you are under 18, your father still has a duty to support you and pay child support to whomever is your guardian if you do not live with him.  

Q: My Dad recently suggested to me that I become emancipated so that the child support payments can then come directly to me and not to my Mom.   Is this possible?

When a child legally becomes emancipated, the child support obligation ends.   The absent parent has no further obligation to anyone, including the child.

Q: Do I still have to pay support if my child dies?

In all of my years I have never been asked this question before but there is a first time for everything!   Since child support is ordered for the care and support of a child, if your child passes away, the child support order ends.

Simone Spence is the President of Child Support Solutions, LLC. She developed the company's child support collection for parents with troublesome child support cases. 



View all articles by Simone Spence

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