Do you know how long child support lasts? | The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
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Do you know how long child support lasts?

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Child support is an important component of family law, and one that the courts take very seriously. If you find yourself required to pay child support for your child, it is important to have a full understanding of what child support is and how long it lasts.

Many people seem to believe that child support is owed to the parent who receives payments. However, this is not entirely true. Although a custodial parent may collect and spend child support to care for the child, the support is not the right of the parent — it is the right of the child being supported.

Unfortunately, parents often conflate child support rights with custodial privileges. They may also think that it is a good idea to withhold child support if the other parent is difficult or does not abide by a custody agreement. While an understandable temptation, this is an improper way to approach child support.

As a parent with a child support order, you should plan to pay child support until the child turns 18. However, in certain circumstances, child support may extend for some time after the child turns 18. This might occur if the child faces serious developmental difficulties, or if the support is intended to finance the child's education. Teens who emancipate themselves from their parents also forfeit their rights to child support.

If you have any further questions about how to approach your child support obligations and how long you can expect them to last, do not wait to speak with an experienced attorney. Such an attorney can help guide you through the finer points of your particular child support order, while keeping your rights protected as a parent.

Source: Findlaw, "When Does Child Support End?," accessed Aug. 30, 2017

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