If you are contemplating a divorce and already have children together, you may be wondering when your child support obligation ends in Texas. In most cases the law requires you to pay child support until the child is considered an adult. A child is considered an adult when the child turns 18 of age or graduates from high school, whichever comes last. Though it may not seem like it, especially with the boomerang generation, 18 signals adulthood in Texas. In a divorce case, a family court will determine the amount of child support the non-custodial parent must pay the custodial parent. Sometimes these payments need to be modified for a variety of reasons but to be enforceable this modification must be reflected in a court order. Verbal agreement is not the correct way to modify a child support payment. Informal agreements often lead to argument and eventually possible repercussions from law enforcement.
What are some other ways in Texas to end child support obligations?
Emancipation can sometimes allow a traditional minor to be granted adulthood at the young age of 16 or 17. To qualify, the child must live away from their parent and be able to financially support themselves and manage their own affairs. This could eliminate the need for child support. Marriage or enlistment in the military can also result in the child’s emancipation and possibly cease a parent’s obligation to pay child support. Child support may also cease after the child moves into the residence of the non-custodial parent. In that case, a motion to stop paying child support may be filed. In this case, the former custodial parent becomes the non-custodial parent and may be eligible to pay child support to the former non-custodial parent. Also, there are circumstances where it is possible to modify an existing child support order to provide child support past a child’s 18th birthday. Under the Texas Family Code, Section 154.306, you may have to continue to pay child support indefinitely if your child is disabled. A child with a mental or physical disability may never be able to take care of themselves financially and they will most likely need continued support. It is important to retain a family law lawyer that knows how to handle child support issues. A family lawyer can help a family reach an agreement for supporting a child who is pursuing a higher education or help modify your child support obligation. Puhl Law Group, P.C. has the experience you need. Please call to schedule an appointment today.