You have been ordered to pay child support during your divorce. You don’t mind. He or she is your child, and you’re happy to offer financial support to help give the child a good upbringing.
That said, you do want to know exactly what your legal obligations are. Say your child is 8 years old at the time of your divorce. How long are you going to have to pay support?
In this example, you’ll likely have to pay for about 10 more years. Child support usually ends at age 18. This is the point when the child is a legal adult and he or she can work, go to college, move out of the house or take other steps to be independent. As a parent, your obligation to help financially has ended.
Now, we use the word “usually” above because there are some exceptions. One of the most common is if your child has special needs or a disability. This could mean that someone has to care for the child for life. They’re not going to move out of the house when they turn 18. In situations like this, the court can order you to continue paying child support to help with the task of caring for the child, even after they are an adult.
Finances and children are the two main issues in almost every divorce. Child support is the natural area where they intersect, so it can become contentious. Make sure you are well aware of all of your legal rights and the options that you have.