Terminating Child Support in Massachusetts
Sometimes, it is easy to determine when a child support order ends; other times, it may not be simple.
There are some stipulations that makes determining when child support ends difficult. The basic law states that, unless the unique circumstances of the child dictate otherwise and the court so provides, the obligation for parents to provide child support end upon any of the following occurring:
- When your child stops living with the parent who receives child support
- When your child starts living with the parent who pays child support
- When your child is no longer financially dependent on either parent
Generally speaking, child support continues until the age of 18. Under certain circumstances, the court may order payments to continue to age 21 if the child lives with a parent and is principally dependent on them for support. The court also has the discretion to extend the child support obligation up to age 23 if the child is enrolled full time in a college, university, or post-secondary education program. The judge will make a decision based on personal discretion. Finally, if a child over the age of 23 suffers from a mental or physical condition that renders the child dependent upon his or her parents, the non-custodial parent may still be required to pay child support to the custodial parent. Seeking modification of child support in these types of cases is made much more difficult because of the needs and special requirements of the child.
When Can Child Support End?
Child support ends if a child stops living with a parent receiving the support or when they are no long financially dependent. It can also end if both parents agree that one shouldn’t have to pay it any longer.
Can Child Support Be Terminated Early?
If parents can agree that child support should end, they can go to a family court and request a modification from a judge. Ultimately, courts will decide is child support can be terminated or modified based on what they deem is in the best interest of child.
What If My Spouse Wants to Continue Child Support?
If you and your spouse can’t agree on the termination of child support, you can still seek its end in a court. Speaking with an attorney will help you make sure the process is handled correctly.
Talk to a Massachusetts Child Support Attorney: (508) 502-7002
If both parents cannot agree when a child support order ends, then going to court to ask a judge to decide may be the best thing to do. When canceling a support order, the judge will consider a number of factors that focus on the best interests and well-being of the child. At Miller Law Group, P.C., we focus on approaching each case with the dedication it needs. Our attorneys know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to family law, so we work to find the best solution based on a client's specific situation.
We give free consultations to help you understand your child support options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with a member of our legal team.