Southern California Family Law

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Southern California Family Law

When Does Child Support End in California?

Custody - January 4, 2021

When Does Child Support End in California?

Child support is a common part of divorce cases when a minor child is involved. One common question often asked is when does child support end in California? At the Simpson Law Group, our knowledgeable family law attorneys are here to help answer this and any other questions that may arise in your case. To learn more, call or contact our office today.

The Purpose of Child Support

Child support is generally meant to maintain a child’s standard of living and ensure their basic needs are covered, regardless of the custodial time shared by the parents.  This way, the child can enjoy the same lifestyle at the home of each parent.  

Typically, the noncustodial parent pays the custodial parent child support, as the custodial parent spends more time with and ordinarily pays for most of the child’s expenses. Child support helps the custodial parent to pay for the child’s expenses such as clothing, food, schooling, extracurricular activities, toys, books, and other needs which arise.  

Child Support Duration

Under California law, child support ends when the child reaches the age of 18 and has graduated from high school.  If a child reaches the age of 18 but is still a full-time high school student, child support will end when that child reaches age 19 or graduates from high school, whichever first occurs.  If you are paying child support, it is important that you speak with an experienced California family law attorney before stopping child support payments.

Other Reasons for Child Support Terminating

The law provides for other situations when child support may be terminated prior to the child reaching the age of majority.  Such examples include the emancipation of a child or the death of a child.  If a parent dies before a child reaches the age of majority, however, his or her child support obligation may not terminate and may become enforceable against his or her estate.  

Continuing Child Support

There may be times when the noncustodial parent continues to pay child support after the child reaches the age of majority.  Parents may decide to enter into a written agreement during the divorce requiring the noncustodial parent to continue paying child support even after a child reaches the age of majority.  One example of this type of an agreement includes the payment of college tuition and related expenses.  

Importantly, the court can order that child support continue indefinitely if the child has a physical and/or mental disability requiring continued care over the course of his or her lifetime. In this case, child support may be directed as regular payments, or the parents may agree that the support be directed to a trust for their child’s care.

When Does Child Support End in California? Contact Simpson Law Group Now.

If you have questions about when support obligations end for your child, call or contact the experienced California family law attorneys at Simpson Law Group today to schedule a case evaluation. 

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