Texas Child Support Orders After The Age Of Majority
Texas Child Support Orders after the Age of Majority
Most people understand the basics of child support. They know that child support payments are ordered to provide funds for the care and welfare of children. The money is generally paid with blanket instructions to the children’s caregivers to use the money for the children’s physical, mental, educational and religious upbringing, but some child support orders are more detailed, breaking down precisely how the money is to be spent.
Some child support orders are valid for particular lengths of time, and some are open-ended. For the most part, though, Texas child support orders end when the children in question turn 18, or graduate from high school, should that happen afterwards. That is not a hard and fast rule, though, and there are times when child support obligations can be extended.
Child Support Once the Child Turns 18
The average child support order will terminate once the child reaches 18, but should the child still be enrolled in high school at that time, the support obligation will extend until graduation. If the child support payments are automatically withheld from the payer’s income, then the support will continue until both the payer’s employer and the Texas Domestic Relations Office have been notified of an upcoming end date (either on the child’s 18th birthday or the day he or she graduates from high school).
While most Texas child support obligations will end once the child celebrates his or her 18th birthday, sometimes support will continue after that date.
For example, any past-due payments – including interest due on the account as well as any fines or fees imposed by the Domestic Relations Office or the Child Support Enforcement Officer assigned to handle the family’s child support matters – do not simply disappear once the child turns 18. Those payments are still due to the recipient unless waived. Any fines or fees for nonpayment imposed by the state are also still due. The state’s child support case file will not be closed until either all payments have been made or the Child Support Enforcement Officer has received notification that the right to collect past-due payments has been waived.
Support might also continue past the age of 18 when the child who is subject to the order suffers from a mental or physical handicap or condition that would require additional financial assistance. Special requests for additional child support are handled on a case-by-case basis depending on the facts of each unique circumstance.
If you have questions about Texas child support, both before and after a child turns 18, consider speaking with an experienced family law attorney in your area to learn more about your legal rights and options.