When does child support end?

Carlsbad, CA – Most parents think that child support automatically ends when the child comes to the age of majority. Since 18 is the age of legal adulthood, that is when many assume monthly support payments cease automatically. However, this is far from the truth in many places.

First of all, the age of majority varies from state to state, being anywhere from 18 to 21. Secondly, some states consider college education expenses when calculating necessary monthly support. This can be quite unsettling for many parents, especially those that had no intention of having to pay for expenses past high school.

Child support California

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Child Support in California

California is among the states where child support ends essentially when the child finishes high school–or by the age of 19, whichever occurs first.

However, sometimes clauses in the parenting agreement can still include stipulations about paying college expenses, if they were written in by either parent. If the non-custodial parent signed the agreement, then they must hold to supporting the child through college. Sometimes during a post-divorce settlement, people create college-support plans, and sign them–not realizing how soon that time will come. An agreement based on the parents’ preferences during time of divorce can be modified in court, especially if the child decides not to go to school or simply doesn’t have the grades to make it through college.

Health of the child

If the child requires institutional care of any kind, the parents will likely be paying child support for as long as the situation persists. They may need to re-negotiate the amount to be paid monthly based on any changes to their respective personal financial situations as well as to the state of the child/economy.

Who gets the child support money for a college-aged child?

Interestingly, the support payments go directly to the custodial parent, not to the child. The hope is that the parent will direct this money towards the child in college, so that school fees, books, and tuition can be paid for. However, they are absolutely allowed to use it as well to keep up the residence to which the college-aged child will come to rest on school breaks.

Action needed to stop child support in California

Something to be aware of when you come close to the time your child turns 19 or finishes high school is that you need to actively seek to stop child support payments. Otherwise, the bills for them will continue to come. The non-custodial parent must alert the family registry that they will soon be eligible for cessation of child support, and the agency will stop the bureaucratic machinery that prosecutes those who are late or truant on their support. Only when an official notice has been made of this cessation request, are you able to stop rendering monthly payments,

If you need help to modify your child support agreement regarding paying for college tuition in the State of California, or you require help to stop child support collection by agencies, call us at 1(858)324-5330. Griffith, Young, and Lass serve San Diego, Carlsbad, and La Jolla, CA.

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