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How long do child support payments generally last after a divorce?

  • By: Andrew Merlo
  • Published: October 15, 2018

The current statute says that child support after a divorce is generally paid until the age of 18. It can go beyond the age of 18 if the child is in high school with an expectation of graduation before their 19th birthday. There are other exceptions, such as if the child is emancipated. With a child with special needs, a disabled child or a dependent child, so to speak, child support may continue beyond the child’s 18th birthday. A new law in 2011 requires a termination date to be included in all new child support orders. In any agreements or court orders entered after 2011, it is not supposed to be required to return to court for your child support to terminate. However, if you are one of the folks who had a settlement or an agreement or court order prior to October 2011, then your child support does not automatically terminate on the child’s 18th birthday and you are required to return to court yourself. It is your obligation to go to court and ask the judge to stop the child support based on the child turning 18 and reaching the age of majority. It would need to happen for each child as they turn 18.

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