When does a parent’s child support obligations end in Missouri?
Most parents are hesitant to ask questions about when they may stop paying child support. Many people believe that asking such a question will make them look as if they do not want to support their kids. Despite the hesitance, it is a valid and important question for parents who wish to begin planning later stages of their lives.
While nearly all parents would never begrudge the money they spend to care for their children, it is natural to look forward to a time when you can stop making these payments.
As in most states, a Missouri parent’s child support obligations typically end when a child turns 18 if they are no longer a student. Situations in which child support may continue past the age of 18 include the following.
- If the child is enrolled in a college or university
- If the child has special needs related to a recognized physical, mental, developmental or emotional condition
Occasionally, a parent’s child support obligation may end earlier than expected. For example, if your child gets married or enters the military on active duty status, you may be able to stop paying support for them.
Under no circumstances should a parent stop making child support payments without a court’s permission, even if their co-parent agrees to the end of the support. If your support payments are causing you financial hardship, or if you believe your obligation has ended, consider speaking with a family law attorney. This allows you to remain in full compliance with the law until you are free to end your payments legally.