When Does Child Support End in Texas?
That’s a question we hear often around our office. In this part of our 4 part child support posts, we’ll discuss when and how child support payments end in Texas.
There are several events that can lead to the termination of the Obligor's child support obligation. The first and most common is when the child turns 18 or the child graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. This provision is very important because it can extend the child support obligation past the child turning the age of 18 if the child is still going to school to obtain a high school diploma. If the child drops out of high school after turning 18 or does not meet minimum attendance requirements where they are enrolled, the child support obligation can terminate before the child obtains a high school diploma.
Two other events that can lead to the termination of child support are if the child gets married or if the child enlists in the armed forces of the United States. These events can terminate the Obligor's child support obligation even if the child has not reached the age of 18. They can also terminate the child support obligation even if the child is 18 and is currently enrolled in a program to obtain a high school diploma.
The removal of the disabilities of minority of the child by the court can also lead to the termination of child support. The best example of this is if the court emancipates the child before the child reaches the age of 18. Lastly, the obligation to pay child support will terminate upon the death of the child. The obligation to pay child support, however, does not necessarily terminate upon the death of the Obligor. The court can order the Obligor's child support obligation to survive the death of the Obligor and it will then become an obligation of the estate of the Obligor.
Upon the termination of child support for one of the above reasons, or the reduction of child support in a case in which support is being paid for more than one child, it might be necessary to get an order from Court to stop wage withholding. If your child support is automatically being withheld from your paycheck, you should check with your HR department and look at the wage withholding order several months before the support obligation should end. If the order provides for a termination date, then you are probably okay, but double check with your employer to make sure they understand they’re to stop the withholding on that date. If there is no termination date, you should see a lawyer so that an order can be obtained to stop the withholding. It’s best to start this process several months before the withholding should stop.
In our last part of this series, I’ll discuss modifying child support. As that is a pretty extensive topic, we might break it into two posts. If you have any questions about these posts, or if you need help with a child support problem of your own, feel free to contact us through our website.