Child support terminates when the child reaches the age of emancipation, normally considered to be 18 years of age. Child support can continue if the child is over 18 but is still in school. Determination is not automatic, and the duty to support continues unless and until an order is entered by the court.
What this means is that a support order usually has a termination date. However, if there is no termination date, then the order will simply continue to run until one of the parties comes back into court on a motion to terminate support. In many cases, support will change over the course of the payer’s timeframe of payments. For example, you might have someone who is paying child support for three children, and then one becomes emancipated. Now the child support percentage is reduced but the person has to come into court and change the order.
Lastly, the person has to make sure that the order is going to terminate on a specific date, either when the youngest child turns 18 or completes school, as long as the child continues without interruption, so that the person is not overpaying for child support.
You can also make some exceptions where child support will continue beyond the age of 18 if done by agreement of the parties. There are certain circumstances where someone will want to continue to pay support beyond high school, maybe even through college, if the party has the means to do so. Consult with an experienced divorce or family law attorney in your local area to determine what type of child support you’re entitled to and for how long.