Protecting Your Family's Future

Does Child Support End at Graduation?

When Does a Child Support Obligation in Texas End? At Graduation? At Age 18?

As a parent, you want to make certain your child’s financial needs are being met. If you are no longer married to the child’s other parent, though, you want to know that you don’t have to be responsible for more than your fair share and that you are not paying support to your spouse when your child no longer lives at home.

Texas Laws Governing When Child Support Ends

In a divorce proceeding in Texas, the parties can agree that support will end at any time, though the courts are unlikely to approve of and enforce an order that has support ending before the child in question reaches age 18, absent highly unusual circumstances.

Under § 154.001 of the Texas Family Code, absent agreement by the parties, the court may require that one or both parents support the child until the age of 18 or until graduation from high school, whichever is later. The court can also order that child support end if the minor becomes emancipated or gets married. The death of the child also terminates the child support obligation.

If a parent is financially able, even though parental rights have been terminated, the court can mandate child support payments until the earlier of the child’s adoption the child’s 18th birthday or high school graduation (whichever is later), the child’s emancipation or the child’s death.

The Texas Family Code, in § 154.002, clarifies that support may be extended beyond a child’s 18th birthday if a child is enrolled in an accredited secondary school, is jointly taking high school and junior college classes or is a full-time student at a private secondary school that will award a high school diploma. However, payments will only be due if the child is in compliance with minimum attendance requirements imposed either by the state’s Education Code or the school where the child is enrolled.

Questions About Does Child Support End at Graduation? Custody, Divorce, and Family Law Attorney, Baytown, Texas

Stewart Law, PLLC, located in Baytown, Texas, provides legal counsel to parents involved in relocation issues, child support and custody matters, divorce, and other family law cases. If you have questions about how to stop your ex from moving away with your child, or other custody, divorce, or family law matters, we can give you advice that will help you decide how to proceed. For an initial assessment and consultation, contact our family law firm online or call our office at (281) 420-8020, at a reduced fee of $50.

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