When does child support end?

Child support needs to be decided on during the divorce process. Spouses may need to cooperate with child custody arrangements and child support payments after their divorce is finalized. This is to ensure the needs of the children in these families are being met. Usually, child support is paid to the parent that has the custodial parent role. They spend more of their time with the child and therefore, spend more money on the child on a regular basis. This means that the other parent should be chipping in as well. This other parent may be court-ordered to pay child support. This can be beneficial for the child. Since the children are not able to support themselves financially, they rely on their parents. However, if one parent is unable to fully support the child, they can have mandated help from the other parent.

In Massachusetts, child support is intended to end on the child’s 18th birthday. However, this is not definite. There are factors that can affect this. If the child is planning on achieving a higher education by attending college, it may cause an extension to child support payments. Payments may then end when the child turns 23 years old. If you are a parent that believes your child is able to support themselves financially, you may request to have the court make an assessment about the child’s emancipation, which would end child support.

How is child support decided?

Many factors will be taken into consideration to make a final decision for child support payments. This will include how often they are paid and how much money is required for each payment. Massachusetts judges have to review various factors to determine the best support structure possible for the child. These factors can include a range of aspects that consider each parent’s status and the child’s well-being. These factors consist of the financial status of each parent, each party’s work history and each party’s earning capacity. In addition to this, the income, debt and assets of each parent are considered. The judge can estimate how much each parent can provide for the child financially by looking into all of these factors.

Besides financial factors, the judge considers the amount of time the child spends living with each parent. Since the court needs to decide with the best interests of the child in mind, they consider a variety of factors involving the child. This includes the child’s needs, age, health, education and the cost of providing for the child, including daycare. All of these aspects help to decide how much child support is needed to keep a consistent living for a healthy child or to improve their overall well-being.

If you require compassionate and knowledgeable legal guidance for a matter of divorce, family or estate law, please contact the experienced attorneys at the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley today. Our firm proudly serves clients in Mansfield, Massachusetts and throughout Bristol County.