Each state has established its own laws regarding child support and the age that child support terminates or ends varies from state to state. However, in most states, child support ends when a child is 18 or 19, although child support doesn’t end until a child turns 21 in New York State.
At what age does child support end in Florida? In Florida, a noncustodial parent can be ordered to pay child support until a child turns 18 or 19 if he or she is still in high school and has a reasonable expectation of graduating before their 19th birthday. If the child is disabled and can’t support themselves beyond 18, child support can be extended.
Can a Parent Be Relieved of Their Duty to Pay?
All states take a parent’s duty to financially support their child very seriously. In fact, the government believes that paying child support is so important, it’s a matter of public policy and therefore, child support cannot be discharged in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It is not retroactive and it cannot be terminated because the noncustodial parent is mentally ill, disabled, terminally ill, or incarcerated.
If you owe child support, there is no way around it. You will owe the debt indefinitely until you pay off the balance in full. If you fail to pay child support and the arrears exceed a certain threshold, the following enforcement actions can take place:
- You can be denied a US passport
- Your bank accounts can be levied
- Your wages can be garnished
- Your driver’s license can be suspended
- Your recreational and professional licenses can be suspended
- Your tax refund can be taken
- Your lottery winnings can be intercepted
- You can be held in contempt of court
- You can be fined and jailed (as a last resort)
“Child support is a right that belongs to the child and may not be contracted away by the parents. It is a dual obligation imposed on the parents by the state. A custodial parent’s waiver of a child’s right to support is contrary to public policy and unenforceable by the courts because it is not in the best interests of the child,” according to Florida’s Child Support Benchbook.
We hope this article answered your questions. If you are seeking legal assistance with a child support matter, contact Schuttler, Greenberg & Mullins, LLC.