Ending Child Support Payments Requires a Legal Process in Texas

February 28, 2020 Posted in Child Support

Non-custodial parents often assume that they can simply stop paying child support as of a child's 18th birthday. Whether the age of majority qualifies as the reason to end child support or the terms of divorce cite other qualifiers, parents who pay child support should seek legal support before ending payments. An experienced Dallas child support attorney can help determine if the payments can legally end while providing guidance through the required process that makes it official.

The Details of Any Case Can Add Complexity to Texas Law

When a child reaches the age of majority, the law typically releases parents from child support obligations. However, Texas child support statutes are very complex. Since the age of the child does not necessarily determine when payments can stop, even seemingly simple cases require sign-off by the Domestic Relations Office that presides over any given case.

Consider some of the following possible exceptions to the age 18 rule:

  • Emancipation of a child can release the child support requirement before age 18.
  • When children enlist for military service prior to age 18, their child support payments typically stop.
  • Child support continues to be required for children who remain in high school beyond the age of 18.
  • The divorce decree might require the continuation of child support payments while a child is in college.
  • Child support payments might extend indefinitely due to the disability of a child.

Any number of circumstances can change the anticipated date for ending these payments. Even though state law often has clear rules on the subject, the strong focus on the best interests of a child requires a review of every case.

Seek Help from a Dallas Child Support Attorney Before the Expected Termination Date

Texas law allows for strong penalties for individuals who fail to make their child support payments in full and on time. Parents should never use assumptions or guesswork when deciding to stop providing support for their children. Regardless of what the divorce decree says, any number of factors can intervene to modify the requirements. In fact, in some situations, the payments can end before the expected date.

Any non-custodial parents might believe that and end of payments is coming due to the provisions of the divorce decree. Others may have questions pertaining to a specific situation that might end the payments prior to that date. Anyone who has any questions about child support should consider contacting an experienced Dallas child support attorney, preferably well in advance of the coming payment termination date. The attorney can help identify any potential concerns and provide advice on how best to proceed. Contact our office today.