Fox Family Lawyers
Cynthia Moseley Fox
Attorney at Law
7751 Carondelet Avenue,
Suite 700
Clayton, Missouri 63105
(St. Louis)
314.727.4880

When Is Child Support No Longer Payable?

Child Support Emancipation

Unless the circumstances of the child manifestly dictate otherwise and the court specifically so provides,
the obligation to pay child support typically ends as listed below:

  1. The child reaches age 18, or the child dies, marries, or enters active duty in the military.
  2. However, if the child is enrolled in a secondary school, such as high school, when he/she reaches age 18, the support obligation continues until the child leaves school, completes the program or reaches age 21, whichever comes first.
  3. Following completion of high school or other secondary school, the child has until October 1st of that year to enroll in an institute of higher learning, such as a vocational school or college. If the child does so, the child support obligation will continue until the child completes the program of higher learning or reaches age 21, whichever comes first.
  4. To remain eligible for such continued parental support, certain requirements have to be met as follows:
    • At the beginning of each semester, the child must submit a transcript or similar official document issued by the school to the paying parent that identifies the courses enrolled in and completed for each term, the grades and credits received for each course, and an official document from the school identifying the courses enrolled in for the upcoming term and the number of credits for each course.
    • The child must enroll in and complete 12 credit hours each semester, summer semester excluded. (If the child is employed at least 15 hours per week, the requirement is lowered to 9 credit hours per semester.)
    • The child must achieve grades sufficient to reenroll at the school.
    • When enrolled in at least 12 credit hours, if the child receives failing grades in half or more of his/her course load in any semester, payment of child support may terminate.
    • Upon request for notification of the child’s grades by the noncustodial parent, the child must produce the required documents to the noncustodial parent within 30 days of receipt of grades from the school or payment of child support may terminate.

The preceding is only a summary of the circumstances that can end the obligation to pay child support. There are exceptions to the above that may result in continuing the obligation to pay support, such as if the child is physically or mentally incapacitated from supporting himself and insolvent and unmarried, the court may extend the parental support obligation past the child’s 18th birthday. Or, if the child has been diagnosed with certain disabilities or health problems that would limit the child from meeting the credit hour requirement, the child support obligation may continue.

If you are the payer, or the receiver, of a child support payment, and you have concerns about whether the child support payments should or will terminate, please contact us for an appointment so that we can discuss the matter.