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How and when does child support terminate?

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2022 | Child Support

At some point during a divorce proceeding involving California parents of young children, the court will issue a child support order. If the order needs to be terminated, there are certain requirements that must be met.

Termination of child support at the age of majority

Only the court has the authority to allow the termination of a child support order. The paying parent cannot just come to the conclusion that they are going to stop adhering to the terms of the order. Most often, that obligation ends when the child has reached the age of majority. In most cases, this means 18 years old, but it could extend to 19. As a general rule, child support usually ends on the child’s 18th birthday or until they graduate from high school.

Exceptions to ending child support at the age of majority

There are some exceptions to the rule for ending child support at the age of majority. Some parents may have an agreement that states that the support order can be terminated earlier than the child’s 18th birthday. In this situation, the parents would have to file a petition with the court requesting a termination.

A parent can also request termination of child support if they relinquish their parental rights. For example, if the custodial parent remarries and their new spouse adopts the child, the biological parent would no longer be considered legally responsible.

Another reason for terminating a child support order is that the paying parent has become incapacitated and can no longer afford to pay. If they can no longer earn an income due to disability, the parent can file for termination of the support order.

The child support order can also be terminated if the child becomes emancipated before they turn 18.

These are the rules for terminating a child support order. The court is open to allowing a termination based on these criteria.