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Planning for the end of child support payments

Texas parents who either pay or receive child support may be wondering when the child support obligation ends. The specific guidelines for child support vary from one jurisdiction to the next. However, the requirement to pay ends in most cases when the child gets married, leaves for college, dies or reaches that age of majority.

A child who reaches the age where he or she can make certain legal decisions and is not considered a minor under state law is deemed to have reached the age of majority. In the state of Texas, the age of majority is 18. A parent may not be obligated to continue paying child support if the child becomes emancipated before reaching the age of majority. A minor can become emancipated if he or she leaves home, becomes economically independent, joins the military or gets married.

Alternatively, a parent may be obligated to pay child support past the age of majority in some circumstances. For instance, a child who has special needs or is disabled may require support past the age of 18. Children who attend college may also receive support to pay for tuition and books. Whatever the circumstances, a parent's child support obligation does not automatically end. The parent who pays support must file a request to have the child support order terminated.

A lawyer with a background in family law can explain the parameters of a child support obligation to a client. In addition, such a lawyer can also help a parent file a formal request to end the child support obligation in the event that the child has either reached the age of majority or has earlier become emancipated.

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

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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