In Florida, child support payments will typically last until a child’s 18th birthday. However, support may be ordered for longer periods of time in cases where a child has special needs or has not yet graduated from high school. The date a judge approved an agreement can also influence how long support lasts. Prior to 2010, courts did not automatically include end dates on legally binding orders. Parents whose support orders do not have termination dates must apply to the state in order to stop payment, even if a child reaches 18.
Terminating Child Support
How child support officially ends can depend on how you make your payments. Typically, support is either paid directly to a parent, or through the state. In the case that support is paid to a parent, and the end date was set by a judge, when the preset period of time is over, you may simply stop payment and there may be no more official actions or paperwork to be done. Additionally, there must be no expectation that an extension is in order.
In the case that child support payments are made through the state, the process to officially stop child support can be more complex. If your payment is handled by the Florida State Disbursement Unit (FSDU), you must get a court order for the termination of child support, even if an end date was previously set by the court. If this step is not taken, parents may be accused of failing to pay child support.
Child Support past the 18th Birthday
While child support typically ends when a child turns 18, payment extensions can be ordered in several circumstances. For example, support can continue until a child is 19 if they have not yet graduated from high school. Here, the end of support will typically be ordered until the child’s graduation date. In the case that a child has special needs that prevent them from becoming self-sufficient, payments can last indefinitely.
Secure Compassionate Child Support Attorneys
If you are currently engaged in a dispute over child support or you are seeking to modify a previous agreement, Mitchell & West LLC can provide the guidance you need to make the process go as smoothly as possible. The outcome of a support agreement can remain in effect for years; securing the services of a passionate legal advocate from our firm can make all the difference in your case. With so much on the line, do not hesitate to contact our Miami family law attorneys and put decades of legal experience to work for you.
Questions about child support? Call (305) 783-3301 and speak to an attorney about your options.