While technically, your obligation to pay child support terminates when the child turns 19 years of age, in reality your child support may not change. What determines whether the child support obligation ends:
- No younger children included in the child support order.
- No arrearage.
- Not paid by Income withholding order
- Child is not incapacitated.
- Child is 19 years old.
Provided you meet all five of the above conditions, you can stop paying child support.
If you are paying child support through an Income Withholding Order, you will need a court order to terminate the Income Withholding Order. If the other parent is cooperative, you can fill out and take the form below to the court. You will need to have both parents sign the document in front of a Notary Public.
If there are younger children, your child support will not stop until the youngest child reaches the age of 19 years. It may be appropriate to modify the support because there are fewer children involved. However, you should consult an attorney to review the child support order. Whether child support will go down is dependent on the income of both of the parents, amount of parenting time, post secondary school expenses, day care, the other parent's subsequent children, cost of insurance as well as a number of other factors.
If you have outstanding child support that has not been paid, then you will need to make arrangements to pay that through the court. It is often better to have an attorney to resolve these type of issues.
If your child is incapacitated, it is vital that you contact an attorney prior to the child turning 19 years. A family law lawyer will be able to help you navigate that situation. It is important to discuss with the lawyer your child's disability, availability of Medicaid, types of Medicaid waivers, medical costs and your child's needs.
If your child is under the age of 19 years, he or she may be emancipated under limited conditions. It is important to discuss this with a lawyer. If the child has married or joined the military service, the child can be emancipated in most situations. If the child is not under the care or control of either parent, the court may or may not find them emancipated. There are some other situations where the court will find that the child under 19 years is emancipated, but I strongly suggest that you consult an attorney and not take that on yourself.
- Cynthia Marcus