As a divorced parent in Arizona, there’s a good chance that you either pay child support or receive it depending on the amount of time you spend with your kids. Child support, much like parenting time, is often a hotly-contested issue in Arizona divorces. The courts try to create solutions that are reasonable, fair and appropriate.
Whether you pay support or receive support, understanding the limitations that Arizona places on the payment of child support can help you plan better for your own financial future and the needs of your children. How long does child support usually last?
When does child support usually end for Arizona families?
Age, education and legal status can all factor into how long child support lasts after a divorce. In the scenario where a teenager seeks emancipation and the courts declare them an adult, child support will stop at the time that the child secures emancipation.
For children who remain in the custody of their parents, Arizona child support will typically last until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school. If the child has serious special needs, such as physical or mental disabilities, the child support order could potentially persist for as long as the child remains primarily dependent on the care of their parents.
What about covering the costs of college?
Many children remain dependent on their parents well after they finish high school because they need parental resources to cover their costs during college. Young adults pursuing higher education will often not be able to work full-time while also enrolled in classes. Parents often cover some or even all of the college costs for their children as a way to set young adults up for a successful future.
You may be able to arrange for parental contributions to college expenses in an uncontested divorce agreement or if you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that addresses these special concerns for your family.
Barring that, discussing the need for college and support for your child with your ex may help you reach an agreement where both of you cover those college costs regardless of whether there’s a child support order in place or not.