Ending child support payments in Texas

Many Texas parents who are paying or receiving child support have questions about when these payments will end. Parents who are depending on support payments or parents whose wages are garnished to pay support may have particular interest in this issue, as it can mean a significant change in their financial situation.

In most circumstances, a parent's obligation to continue paying child support ends when the child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 years old in Texas. However, some circumstances allow the support obligation to end before or after the child's 18th birthday. If a child has not graduated from high school by the time he or she turns 18, the support-paying parent may have to continue paying until the child graduates. Children who have special needs may also receive support into their adulthood.

Certain circumstances in a child's life may terminate their parent's obligation to pay child support. The parent of a minor child who joins the military no longer needs to pay child support. Support obligations may also end when children become emancipated by getting married or becoming economically independent outside their parents' home.

Whether the parent's obligation ends when the child turns 18 or at some other time, the parent must file a request with the Texas Child Support Division to end the payments. Parents whose ex-spouses stop their support payments before the state has ended their obligation may have questions about their rights to seek the payments they are owed. Family law attorneys may be able to help parents seek orders for child support enforcement. Parents who need help ending their child support payments or seeking a support modification because of significant changes in their income may also benefit from legal representation.

Source: FindLaw, "When Does Child Support End?", accessed on Feb. 24, 2015

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