When does child support end for an adult child?

As a parent, supporting and caring for your child is always a primary duty that we take on as parents regardless of their age. However, if you have court-ordered child support or a child support agreement with your ex-spouse you may be wondering how long it is valid for or when the mandated child support payments end. While each agreement is slightly different, there are some general laws that everyone has to follow and here’s what you need to know.

Is there a definite age where child support stops legally?

In Ontario, child support legally stops when your child is 18 years of age in most circumstances. If your child has special needs or medical needs that need attention past that age, then there could be some extenuating circumstances. However for most parents – if they are paying child support – it will be in place until they are 18 years old. 

Do I need to keep paying child support regardless of if I see my child?

The short answer is yes. Paying child support and visitation abilities are two very different when it comes to child custody agreements. Regardless of how often you get to see your child, or if your ex-spouse is making it is very difficult for you to spend time with your child, you still need to continue paying whatever your agreement is for child support. 

Is child support calculated the same for everyone?

No, every child support arrangement will be unique based on the needs of the child and financial abilities of the parents. There could also be an agreement made in writing between the two parents where the court does not dictate how much the child support is going to be because the two parents have worked it out between themselves. 

Does the amount I pay ever change?

It can change if your financial circumstances have drastically changed. Now if you have an agreement in writing that you didn’t need to go to court for, you could talk to your ex-spouse and see if they will agree to changes you want to make without the use of lawyers. If you have a court mandated amount that you need to pay, you will need to file for a date with the court to determine if your financial situation has changed enough to warrant what you’re asking for. 

What if I just stop paying?

Stopping your child support payments is a very serious thing. Failure to pay the child support you have been mandated to can lead to bigger issues like wage garnishing or even seizing assets. 

While making things work with an ex-spouse can be difficult – especially if the separation or divorce was emotionally hard – you must still do your very best to work with your ex-partner. It’s important to remember that this money isn’t going towards your ex-spouse but rather it’s meant to help your child(ren) with the things they need. 

Contact Minhas Lawyers today

If you have questions about your child support agreement or how to go about changing it when you need to, contact Minhas Lawyers. One of our family lawyers would be happy to assist you! 

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