According to Maryland law, a parent’s child support obligation ends at age 18 if the child has graduated from high school, or age 19 if the child is still enrolled in high school. Parents are not obligated by law to pay for post-secondary education costs unless both parents have agreed to do so in a marital settlement agreement.
If your child has recently celebrated their 18th birthday and you would like to terminate your child support payments, you should consult with a Maryland family law attorney who can help you with this process. If you have signed a marital settlement agreement at the time of your divorce, you want to make sure that you are clear on the terms.
If you are paying child support for more than one child, and one of the children turns 18 and graduates from high school, then your obligation to pay support for the older child will end, but you will continue to owe support for the younger children. Your Maryland family law attorney can also help you prepare a petition to request that the court establish a new payment amount now that one of the children is on their own.
If your child leaves home and joins the military before they turn 18, if they get married, or simply move out on their own, then you may no longer be obligated to support them financially. You would be required to petition the court to end your child support payments because the child has become emancipated.
There are circumstances under which a parent might still be obligated to support their child beyond the age of 19. If the child suffers from physical or mental disabilities and is unable to support themselves, your obligation to support them financially may continue on for the remainder of the child’s life.
The family law attorneys at Cynthia H. Clark & Associates, P.A., have more than 30 years of combined experience representing countless families like yours resolve their child support challenges throughout Maryland. Please contact us to reserve a consultation today at our Annapolis-based office.