According to the U.S. Census Bureau, child support is integral to the financial well-being and security of families with children. Every year, countless parents rely on child support to help cover the costs of raising their kids.
However, many recipients of child support may wonder if they can cancel or terminate child support payments entirely. We will explore this question in depth, examining the legal process of withdrawing child support and what it may entail.
Why is Child Support Necessary?
According to data from the USDA, it costs an average of $233,610 to raise a child until they turn 18. That’s why child support is so important. It helps cover the costs of raising a child-which both parents are responsible for.
Child support is meant to help cover the costs associated with raising a child, such as:
- Medical and dental expenses
- School supplies
- Educational expenses
- Childcare costs
- Extracurricular activities
In most cases, the non-custodial parent is obligated to make child support payments. In some cases, the court may order both parents to pay a portion of the child’s expenses.
Can a Parent who Receives Child Support Terminate Child Support?
Terminating child support can vary depending on the state you live in and your particular circumstances. Generally, the process of ending a child support order involves the following steps:
- File a pleading with the court to terminate your child support payments.
- Provide evidence that you no longer need to pay child support.
- The paying parent will receive notice of your request to terminate child support and will be able to respond.
- If both parties consent, the court may end child support without a hearing.
However, if one party doesn’t consent, the court will likely hold an evidentiary hearing so it can review all relevant information. Only then will it make a decision about whether or not to terminate child support payments.
It’s crucial to note that the courts typically have strict guidelines for terminating child support. This is why working with a qualified family law lawyer who can provide legal advice and help you navigate ending your child support payments is essential.
Circumstances That Could Lead to the Termination of Child Support
If your circumstances have changed or you no longer need to pay child support, you may be able to terminate your child support payments. Here are some common scenarios that could lead to termination:
- The child has reached the age of majority (sometimes as early as 18 years old) and is now an adult
- The child has passed away
- The child has been adopted by someone else or is no longer financially dependent on the parents
- Parents come to a mutual agreement about terminating child support payments
Working with an experienced family law lawyer who focuses their practice in family law like those at Cordell & Cordell can help make the process less stressful. They can guide you through the legal process, review your case, and provide advice about how to proceed.