We are often asked “When does child support end for a child who’s reached legal age in North County?” The general reason for child support during and after a divorce is to fulfill your responsibility to financially support a child until adulthood. As your child moves into the final years of high school or approaching 18 it is time to start considering the end of child support.
The basic answer to the question is when your child reaches the age of 18 unless they have not yet completed high school. Most kids turn 18 before their high school graduation. It is probably more important to consider the date of high school graduation than the specific age of the child. If you are behind on child support, the mere fact that the child graduates high school and is 18 does not relieve you from your obligation to fulfill the amounts owed prior to that date.
There are of course exceptions to every rule. One exception for to the above “high school” premise is the establishment of independence. For example, if a child moves out and/or marries before high school or enlists in the military child support may qualify for termination. This is known as “emancipation.”
Many former spouses attempt to impose the financial obligation of child support through the college years and barring a court order this is simply not the case.
What do you have to do to make child support end for a child who’s reached legal age? If your child is approaching the age of 18 or high school graduation you should contact the attorneys at Burke & Domercq or call 760-712-3741 to schedule an appointment to review the specific circumstances in your case. In some cases we may be able to simply submit paperwork with supporting documentation to bring your child support obligations to an end. In other cases it may be necessary to appear before a North County family law court.