For parents who are not married, each parent has a duty to ensure that their child is provided for financially. As such, a noncustodial parent (parent with less parenting time) will have to make child support payments to the custodial parent (parent with majority parenting time) throughout the course of the child’s non-adult years. Typically, child support payments are terminated when the child turns 18 years of age, or when the child finishes high school. Here’s what you need to know about ending child support payments:
If Your Order Contains a Termination Date…
Most child support orders contain a termination date, which is the date that you are no longer legally required to continue making child support payments. If your order contains such a termination date, then you will simply need to keep making payments up until that date. If payments are being automatically withdrawn from an account or from your paycheck, you should show your support order to the party responsible for withdrawals (i.e. your employer) to confirm that payments will indeed be terminated.
If Your Order Does Not Contain a Termination Date…
If your order does not contain a termination date for child support payments, do not just assume that you can stop making your child support payments and everything will be okay. Instead, you will want to set a termination date with the court. Keep in mind that while child support payments are usually terminated when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, this is not always the case. A child support order could be terminated at a different time when:
- The child is an adult but is still in school, has a mental disability, or has sought higher education and therefore has additional expenses; or
- The child gains emancipation at an age earlier than 18 by virtue of being married, joining the military, or through other circumstances.
Keep in mind that if you have multiple children for whom you are paying a support order, it will be important that you understand what your duty to pay child support is if one of the orders is terminated, but the other continues.
Seeking a Termination Date for Your Child Support Payments
If you believe that you should no longer be obligated to make child support payments, or that that day is quickly approaching, and your child support order does not contain a termination date, you need to take legal action. Do not just assume that you can stop making your payments; you are required to make payments until a court order states otherwise.
Our Child Support Attorneys Are Here to Help
At the law offices of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., our experienced child support attorneys can help you to understand the law, your obligation under the law, and how to seek a child support modification or date of termination from the court. Contact our Naperville office today at 630-961-0060 to learn more about how our family lawyers can help you.