While child support payments may end once a child reaches 18, this is not applicable in all situations. This is because the laws of each state differ and the length of financial obligation to pay child support depends on under certain circumstances. Sometimes, the payment may continue beyond the age of majority.
Non-custodial parents cannot simply cancel the child support payment, especially if there is an existing court order. Cancellation is only possible in the certain situations, such as termination of parental rights, adoption of a child, or if the child passed away. If there is a valid reason for cancelling the payment, the parent needs to file with the court.
Some states allow support payments to continue after the age of 18, especially if the child is still attending school or living with the custodial parent. If parents want to terminate child support, they need to request for the financial obligation to end. They can do this when the child reaches the age of majority or when a minor child wishes for emancipation.
Law Office of Doreene A. Kuffer and other child law attorneys in Albuquerque, New Mexico note that emancipation is when a minor child has become self-supporting and no longer needs the support from both parents. When a child receives the right for emancipation, the non-custodial parent needs to make the support payments may request the court to end the child support order.
Reduction in payments may only be acceptable in certain life events like a change in marital status, injury, and job loss. The parent may request the court for a child support modification to lower the payment. This does not completely end the financial obligation, but this can decrease or increase the amount of support payment a parent pays or receives.
It is not advisable for parents to conceal assets to receive more or pay less child support. If the primary parent, for instance, has a much higher income than what they declared, the court may lower the payment received each month. If the other parent, meanwhile, declared a lower salary than what they are actually receiving, the court may order more child support.