Child Support – Ending or Extending Payments

When do your child support payments end?

If you are a payor of child support, you might be looking forward to the day that your child support obligation ends. Frustration with the monthly payments is not necessarily a reflection of you as a parent. You can love your child but hate paying child support. You might struggle meeting your child support obligation each month. At other times, you may be concerned with how the recipient parent is spending the money that was intended to benefit your child. It is not unusual to find yourself counting down the years or the months until you are “off the hook” for making payments.

To avoid future disappointment, do not assume that your child support obligation will end once your child turns 18 or once your child stops living with the other parent. 

Your obligation to pay for your child does not end once your underage child stops living with the other parent. In these situations you should consult a lawyer before making any further payments to the other parent. You may need to start paying someone else, depending on whoever is providing the day-to-day care for your child. If your underage child is trying to become self-sufficient while living away from home, you may need to pay your child support directly to the child. 

When can you stop making payments?

  • You do not have to pay child support if your child lives primarily with you.
  • You do not have to pay child support if your child lives with you and the other parent equally and you make less money than the other parent. In shared situations, both parents pay child support. The parent with the higher income pays an offset amount of child support to the other parent. 

In all other situations, you may still be “on the hook” for child support even after your child becomes the age of majority. There are several factors that can force you to continue to pay child support for an adult child. For example, an adult-child that lacks the mental capacity to become self-sufficient may require child support forever. You may also be on the hook for paying child support for an adult-child attending school or a post-secondary institution.

If you have questions regarding your child support obligation, you should speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Do not assume that your child support obligation has ended or been extended without legal advice. Failing to take this step can cost you a fortune. Our team can refer you to a knowledgeable professional to review your case to determine your child support obligation.

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