What age does child support end in Massachusetts?

child playing with coins and toys

When divorce is imminent, couples are faced with various issues such as the divisions of assets and spousal support. However, couples that have children are confronted with additional challenges including negotiating child custody and child support. Regardless of what state you reside in, every parent must support their minor children financially. Typically, the court will order the noncustodial parent to pay monthly maintenance to the custodial parent to provide for a child’s basic needs. This type of court-ordered payment is referred to as child support. The issue of child support can be complex. Many couples often wonder how long they will have to pay child support. Continue to follow along to learn what age child support obligations are terminated and discover how our proficient Bristol County Child Support Lawyers can help you. 

Does child support end when a child reaches a certain age?

Firstly, like many states, Massachusetts child support is determined based on both parents’ income and the number of children in the household. It is largely based on the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines. Each state sets guidelines to ensure parents are financially responsible for their children and meet the best interests of the child. Child support is granted because the court believes children should benefit from the same standard of living as they would have if the parents were still together. The most significant factors that affect the amount of child support awarded are each parent’s income, the earning capacity of each parent, the cost of child care, the cost of medical insurance, living arrangements, and other child-related expenses.

In the state of Massachusetts, the age of majority is 18. Essentially, this means a parent’s duty to pay child support usually ends when the child turns 18. However, the court can extend support until the age of 21 for children who live with a parent and are not yet financially independent. This means they still rely on their parents for financial support. Additionally, the court has the authority to continue support until a child turns 23. This only occurs if the child is domiciled in the home of a parent and is financially dependent as a result of being enrolled in a postgraduate educational program. Generally, child support is also ordered for adults with mental or physical disabilities. As a note, parents are entitled to file formal requests with the court for an assessment of the emancipation of a child to adjust a child support order. Ultimately, a child support obligation will end depending on the specific circumstances of the situation.

For more information on what age child support obligations are ended in Massachusetts, please contact a knowledgeable Bristol County child support lawyer. Our firm is committed to helping our clients understand their child support obligations. Allow our firm to represent your interests today!