How to Cancel Child Support

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I Need to Cancel Child Support. Where Do I start?

Many believe that once a child reaches the age of 18, they can stop paying child support. However, child support does not automatically end by itself and the laws of each state vary.

First, you need to determine whether terminating child support is actually an option in your case. In most cases, you can’t simply cancel child support, especially if there is an existing child support court order in place. Cancelling child support is only possible in certain situations, such as:

If there is a valid reason for canceling child support, you will need to make a specific filing with the court. Child support generally doesn’t terminate automatically just because one of the conditions above has occurred (i.e., it must be requested).

When Does Child Support End?

In most states, child support ends when the child reaches age 18. Some states allow child support payments to continue beyond the age of 18 in certain circumstances, such as if the child is still living at home or still attending high school. In all states, you must take additional steps to terminate your court ordered child support obligations or face paying payments beyond what is actually required.

Do Child Support Payments End Automatically?

Child support payments do not end automatically and the parent making the child support payments must take additional steps in order to terminate the child support payments. The parent obligated to make child support payments must request for their child support obligation to end once the child reaches the age of majority or a minor child becomes emancipated. 

To find out if your obligation to pay child support is ending, you can contact the child support agency in your state to figure out your child support end date. Also, you can discuss with an attorney your rights and responsibilities while ending your child support payment obligations.

What Does it Mean When a Child Becomes “Emancipated”?

The term emancipation refers to a court process in when a minor becomes self-supporting and no longer needs the financial support of his or her parents. A minor child may become emancipated even before the child reaches the age of 18. When a child has been emancipated, the parent who is obligated to make child support payments can make a request to the court to end the child support payments.

What If the Other Party Is Concealing Assets?

Concealment of assets by the other parent can sometimes result in a change or modification of a child support order. For instance, if it is found that the custodial parent has a higher income than they declared in the support order, the judge might reduce the amount of child support being required each month. However, there needs to be a compelling reason in place for the court to cancel child support payments altogether.

Of course, such determinations will depend on the exact circumstances involved in each case. If you suspect that the other party has been concealing assets, you should file a complaint with the court and they can determine what action is necessary.

Are There Any Alternatives to Canceling Child Support?

As mentioned, one option is for the court to modify the child support. A reduction in child support amounts may be appropriate in such situations. Sometimes, life events such as job loss, injury, or change in marital status may allow a parent to request for a change in the current child support payments.

When this happens, the paying parent may ask the court for a child support modification to help lower child support payment. A child support modification is a judicial order and while it does not end child support obligations completely, it can significantly reduce or increase the amount of child support a parent gives or receives.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help Canceling Child Support?

Canceling child support is a major decision and generally requires the assistance of an attorney. You may wish to hire a family lawyer if you need help with any child support issues or disputes. Your lawyer can help you with your issue and can ensure that your interests, as well as those of the child, are met according to the laws in your area.

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Last Modified: 02-09-2017 04:43 PM PST

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