Q) My husband pays his ex child support. She has been ordered to pay (by magistrate) uninsured medical expenses – they are reducing her child support that she received by 20%. However, the child will turn 18/graduate this June (in four months) and the reduction in child support will not even come close to covering what is owed. Then what happens? What options do we have for collecting.
A) The answer to this question depends on the specific laws and regulations of the jurisdiction where your husband’s child support order was established. Generally speaking, here are some possible outcomes once a child turns 18:
- The child support order ends: In some jurisdictions, child support automatically ends when the child turns 18. If this is the case, your husband’s obligation to pay child support will end and he will no longer be required to make payments.
- The child support order continues: In other jurisdictions, child support may continue beyond the age of 18 if the child is still in high school or attending college or university full-time. If your husband’s child is still in school or college, he may be required to continue making child support payments until the child graduates or reaches a certain age.
- The child support order may be modified: In some cases, your husband may be able to seek a modification of his child support order once the child turns 18. Depending on the circumstances, he may be able to reduce or terminate his child support obligation.
It’s important to note that your husband should not simply stop making child support payments once the child turns 18 without first consulting with his local child support agency or an attorney. He should follow the procedures in place in his jurisdiction to ensure that he is meeting his legal obligations and avoid any potential penalties or legal action.
Once a child is considered a legal adult, the non-custodial parent is no longer required to pay child support payments. However, should there be back child support payments that remain unpaid, the custodial parent still generally has the right to collect on these back payments, even after the child has been emancipated.