When Does Child Support End? | Child Support Lawyers in MD
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When Does Child Support End?

Nov 25, 2015 | Family Law, Uncategorized

By: Amanda Vann, Esq.
[email protected]

One of the most common questions that I get asked as a family law attorney is: “When can I stop paying my ex child support?”  Most people mistakenly believe that child support payments stop when their child turns 18.  However, per Maryland statute, child support payments end when one of the following occurs:

  • the child graduates high school
  • the child turns 19
  • the child is emancipated
  • the child marries

For more immediate questions regarding child support, contact the family law attorneys at Andalman & Flynn.

Explaining Child Support Obligations in Maryland

As the obligor (the parent paying child support), note that your child support obligation doesn’t automatically cease.  There are steps that must be taken to ensure that the Office of Child Support Enforcement (if your support is paid through that office) and/or the Court is notified that the child has become emancipated and, therefore, your obligation should be terminated.  In order to properly terminate your child support payments with the court, you must file a Motion requesting that the judge terminate your obligation. The law is clear that the obligor does not have the authority to just stop paying child support nor do we recommend that you stop paying simply because your child is emancipated.  The proper procedure is to notify the court and/or Office of Child Support Enforcement so that the Court Order can be addressed and your obligation terminated.

Exceptions to Maryland Child Support Terminations

It is important to note that there are exceptions to seeking a child support termination order. Under Maryland law, if your child is mentally or physically disabled, to the point where he/she cannot properly take care of themselves, you may be obligated to continue to pay child support even though your child would technically be deemed emancipated.  Another exception occurs when child support arrearages have been accrued. If that is the case, you may be required to continue paying child support until the arrears are paid in full.

Obligors should also remember that if you have accumulated child support arrears, your payment obligation may not be terminated until the arrears have been paid.  Just because your child is now emancipated doesn’t mean that arrears are forgotten or forgiven.

Child Support Attorney in Maryland

If you’re going through a divorce and need help determining child support arrangements, Andalman & Flynn has the dedicated child support lawyers for you. We’ll help you understand child support laws in the Maryland area and fight to protect your rights and the interests of your children.

If you have questions as to when you should file to terminate your child support payments, whether or not doing so is in your best interest, or any other questions regarding child support, please contact attorney Amanda Vann at 301-563-6685 or [email protected].

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