Child support payments are essential to help custodial parents in Texas continue to provide for their children’s needs after divorce or separation. But, they are not permanent. If you are currently making child support payments or scheduled to make them in the future, it is important to understand when these payments may end.
When the child becomes an adult
In Texas, child support payments generally end when the child reaches 18 years old or graduates from high school. However, there are a few situations where payments might continue past this stage. One example is if the child has a disability that stops them from being able to take care of themself; in these cases, payments could go on indefinitely.
Emancipation or death of the child
The court may terminate support payments when the child gets married, joins the military or becomes economically independent. Also, if the child dies, either before or after reaching adulthood, then child support payments will naturally come to an end.
Change in the custody arrangement
If there is a change in custody arrangements and the child starts living with the parent who was previously receiving child support payments, the family law court may terminate those payments. This is because the assumption is that the custodial parent will now be able to provide for the child’s needs without financial assistance from the other parent.
If your case qualifies for any of the scenarios mentioned above, you may be able to petition the Texas family court to have your child support obligations terminated. It is important to note, however, that the court will not automatically release you from these payments just because one of these situations applies to you. You will need to present your case in front of a judge and convince him or her that terminating your child support payments is in the child’s best interests or that your unique circumstances warrant it.