Securing a child support agreement with your co-parent is an important victory, but at some point, the support will come to an end. How and when your support ceases will depend on certain circumstances. Some situations may cause your support to end sooner than you expect.
The California Courts website explains different scenarios that may result in the termination of your child support.
A child who reaches legal age
The goal of child support is to sustain a child until he or she reaches a certain age or threshold. If your child completes high school, the state will consider this event as the time to terminate support. The state will also end support if your child turns 18 years old. But if your child is 18 but still attending high school, the state will wait until your child graduates or reaches 19 years old.
A child who achieves a certain status
The state of California will also terminate support in the event your child achieves a state of self-sufficiency. This may happen if your child becomes emancipated or joins the military. Your child may also end support by getting married or entering into a domestic partnership. This shows that your child is ready to form a family of his or her own.
Continuing support into adulthood
In the event your child struggles with a disability, self-sufficiency may not be possible. If so, a California court may order you and your co-parent to continue to support the child even past the age of 18. You may also negotiate with your co-parent to tailor a support agreement to the needs of your child.
It is also a possibility that tragic circumstances may end the support. In the event your co-parent dies, it may still be possible to receive support through a life insurance policy, your co-parent’s estate, or your co-parent’s Social Security benefits. These are matters worth keeping in mind when you compose a support agreement.