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Child Support after Eighteen

The first major concern after divorce are the children. There are a lot of things to dispute. For the state of Texas, the welfare of the children should be the utmost priority. Therefore, custody and child support arrangements are settled right away.

Child Support Basics

In most divorces, the child will stay with a custodial parent, and the other parent would provide child support. The family court determines the amount of child support. There would be no changes in the amount and duration of the child support without securing permission from the court. Avoid missed payments that can eventually accrue. 

The law also dictates that child support payments will continue until the child emancipates. The usual definition of emancipation is when the child turns eighteen years old. However, there are instances when the court would consider terminating the child support payments if the child has taken on a full-time job. Also, if he joins the military or similar institutions. 

Other situations are when the child gets married, or when the child moves out of the custodial parent’s residence and moves in with the other parent. That will make the parent paying child support the de facto custodial parent. 

After the Child Turns Eighteen

Barring the aforementioned circumstances, child support will continue until the child reaches the age of eighteen.

However, there are also situations when child support will continue. If the child has yet to finish high school even after he is past eighteen years old, then child support continues until graduation. There are rare instances when the court allows certain college payments for the child, even after the age of eighteen, but it is not the usual practice.

Child support continues beyond the age of emancipation if the child is proven to be unable to support himself. If the child has a disability incurred before the age of eighteen, then the court will order the child support payments to continue, depending on the condition of the child. 

Also, if the child requires special care or maintenance that can limit his capacity to support himself, then the court may decide to continue the child support payments. 

If the child would be able to support himself after recovering from the disability, then the payments could stop. However, if it is a permanent condition, then the support would be indefinite.

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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at timothy.hutton@austintexaslegal.com

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