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Understanding when a child support obligation ends

When children are born in San Antonio, their parents often begin planning out the major events in their lives, from their first days of school to the moment they go off to college. While such plans between a couple may change if and when they divorce, those events will still likely happen, just under different circumstances. The responsibility of parents to support children as they reach and pass major life events remains in place regardless of marital status. This may lead some of those who are responsible for paying child support to wonder exactly how long their obligations will remain in place.

According to information collected by the Office for National Statistics and shared by The Guardian, the average age at divorce for men and women in America is 45 and 42, respectively. Assuming that a couple divorcing at that age began having children by their late 20’s or early 30’s, that could typically leave the non-custodial parent continuing to have to support children between the ages of 5-6 all the way up to high-school aged teens.

The Texas Family Code states that child support obligations will usually continue until:

  •          The child either graduates from high school or turns 18.
  •          The child marries.
  •          The child dies.

Payments beyond the ages of 18 may be ordered to continue if the child is disabled. The court could also require that a parent continue to support a child seeking an education even if his or she is over 18. To qualify for such continued support, the child must be in a private or accredited secondary school working towards his or her diploma, or be in enrolled in courses offering concurrent high school and junior college credit. 

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