Is Your Child 18 Years Old? How to Terminate Child Support
NOTE: The Bryant Law Center is not accepting any new clients for Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support or Visitation at this time.
If your child is 18 years old and has graduated high school, the state of Kentucky will terminate child support. Depending on certain circumstances, you may be eligible to terminate child support sooner.
It’s important to know that if you are supporting multiple children with child support, your payment for the 18-year-old who has graduated will not automatically end.
You will need to file a motion to modify child support in the court to reduce the fee to exclude the payment necessary for the 18-year-old graduated child (for more information read Does the Amount of Child Support Ever Get Reduced?).
The motion must be issued in the court that originally ordered the child support. During the motion, the non-custodial parent will be asked to state why the payment should be reduced. If the parents wish to avoid court, they may present an agreement with the adjusted child support payment to the court for the judge’s signature. Otherwise, the court will hold a hearing and decide whether to reduce the child support payment and for what amount.
“To be safe, always file with the court to terminate child support, even if the law states that it will automatically end,” says Joe Roark, Bryant Law Center attorney.
Exceptions to Terminating Child Support
There are other exceptions for terminating child support. If a child is disabled, he or she is eligible for child support until the age of 21. If an 18-year-old is still in high school but legally married, the non-custodial parent can terminate child support before he or she turns 18 years old and graduates from high school. The court can also order emancipation for a child considered a minor, and child support payment is eligible to be terminated.
In addition, if a child moves out of the custodial parent’s home and become self-supporting before turning 18 years old and graduating from high school, the child support is eligible to end. But if the child returns to the custodial parent’s home, the child support payments are reinstated.
Some parents agree to continue child support payments past the legal ending terms. Parents have the option to create a marital settlement agreement provision that extends child support beyond the timeframe given by law. Some parents have marital settlement agreements formed to support a child throughout college or trade school.