Providing for one’s child is simply a parental responsibility. It is understandable, though, for one who is ordered to pay child support to wonder at what point this obligation will end. Every state has set certain guidelines regarding the termination of child support. Here is what Massachusetts laws have to say on the matter.

If a support order is put in place, the paying parent will be required to make payments until the supported child reaches the age of 18. If the child has any special needs or is not self-supporting at that point, a support order may be extended — usually to the age of 20. Of course, a support order may be terminated early if a child is emancipated, he or she enlists in the military full time, he or she gets married or if there is a change in custody status.

When a child has aged out or met one of the other qualifications for support termination, one cannot just stop making payments. A petition for termination will need to be submitted and approved. Stopping financial support before this happens can have severe consequences for the paying parent.

The Massachusetts Department of Revenue and Child Support Enforcement Agency will work tirelessly to make sure that children are receiving the financial support to which they are entitled. Payments will be pursued until a termination request is officially submitted and approved. An experienced attorney can assist support-paying parents in taking the steps necessary to properly end their financial obligations so that any consequences for failing to make payments can be avoided.

Source: FindLaw, “Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines“, Accessed on May 25, 2017