Like most parents in Hernando County, you are likely willing to do anything to support your children. Thus, meeting your child support obligation may never even be an issue for you. At the same time, you probably hope to reach a point where you no longer have to pay it. Many come to us here at The Day Law Office wondering when the requirement to pay child support ends. As it is in your case, this question does not come from an unwillingness to pay, but rather the expectation that at some point, their children will be able to support themselves.
From a legal standpoint, children become adults when they reach the age of 18. Therefore, according to Section 61.13(1)(a) of the Florida state statutes, your obligation to pay child support ends when your child reaches that age. The only exception to this would be if your child suffers from mental or physical disabilities that may prohibit him or her from supporting him or herself even after reaching adulthood. In this case, the court may determine that child support continues to be necessary.
There are scenarios in which your obligation to pay child support may end prior to your child turning 18. These include:
- A substantial change in yours or the custodial parent’s circumstances
- Your child gets married
- Your child becomes emancipated
- Your child joins the military
The criteria to automatically terminate your child support obligation did not go into effect in the state until late 2010. If your child support order was issued before October 10 of that year, you may need to petition the court to end your obligation when the time comes. More information on your child support obligations can be found here on our site.