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Four Ways Child Support is Terminated


After a divorce or separation that involves children, one parent is usually ordered by the court to pay child support. Child support is typically paid to the parent who spends the most amount of time with the child. It is intended to help cover the daily expenses and other costs of raising the child in the non-custodial parent’s absence. While child support is almost always ordered in divorce and paternity cases, it is not intended to support the child indefinitely. Below, our Orlando child support lawyer outlines four instances that could terminate payments.

The Child Reaches the Age of Majority 

The age of majority in Florida is 18 years old. Once a child reaches this age, child support payments can be terminated. In certain cases, child support is paid beyond a child’s 18th birthday. This occurs when a child is 18 years old but still in high school. In these instances, child support stops when the child turns 19 years old or graduates, whichever comes first.

The Child is Emancipated 

There are many reasons a child can become emancipated. In some cases, emancipation requires the consent of the parents, but that is not always the case. A child can become emancipated without their parent’s consent if they join the military or get married. When parents are found to be unfit and the child is financially independent, the court may also grant emancipation.

There has Been a Substantial Change of Circumstances 

Parents who pay child support can petition the court for a modification when there has been a substantial change of circumstances. Usually, a change of circumstances requires the paying party to show that they can no longer afford child support payments. Job loss or a serious illness that prevents the party from working are two substantial changes in circumstances that could greatly reduce or terminate child support payments.

The Needs of the Child have Changed 

Again, child support payments are meant to cover the costs of raising a child. If the child no longer has needs they once did, that could also greatly reduce or terminate payments. For example, if a child suffered from a disability when they were young, the increased cost of treating it would likely impact the amount of child support payments. If the child recovered from the disability and no longer incurred those costs, it could result in a reduction of child support. In some cases, such as when the child is over the age of 18, it could terminate child support payments.

Our Child Support Lawyers in Orlando Can Help with Your Case 

Whether you pay child support or receive it, there are certain factors that can impact how long it is paid, and how much is paid. At Anderson & Ferrin, P.A., our Orlando child support lawyers can advise on the specific factors in your case and provide sound legal advice to ensure your rights are protected. Call us now at 407-412-7041 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys and to learn more.



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