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How Long Does Child Support Last?

Child support is designed to split fairly the financial responsibility of raising a child between parents who don’t live together. The purpose of child support is clear, but knowing how long support may last is less straightforward.

If you need to obtain or modify a child support order, or if you simply want to better understand your order, contact Blanchette Law PLLC today. Call 602-881-1748 or contact us online to schedule your consultation. 

In the meantime, continue reading to learn more about Arizona’s child support laws, including when child support payments typically end.

At what age does child support stop in Arizona?

In Arizona, a parent’s legal responsibility to pay child support generally ends on the last day of the month in which the child turns 18, however, there are some important exceptions.

Exception 1: Still in high school 

If the child turns 18 but is still attending high school, then the parent’s obligation to pay child support continues until the child graduates from high school or until they turn 19, whichever occurs first.

Exception 2: Disability

If your child is disabled to the extent that they are unable to support themselves and need to stay with a parent, then the child support obligation may extend past the month the child turns 18 years old or even beyond the age of 19, however, the exact date will need to be determined through either an agreement or a court order. 

In order for the court to order support for a disabled or dependent adult, the court must find the disability began before the individual reached the age of majority. The amount of support is then determined in the same manner as a standard child support order.

Will support be due if my child is in college?

Arizona law doesn’t require a parent to pay child support for a child who is over the age of 18 and attends college. However, the parents may voluntarily enter into their own agreement to financially support their child during college such as paying for certain college expenses.

What happens when one child turns 18 but there are other minor children? 

Just because one child turns 18 and is no longer eligible for support doesn’t mean a parent will automatically receive less money for other children.

In order to have a court-ordered child support payment reduced, the parent must file a request for a modification of child support. Support is then recalculated using the standard child support calculator which utilizes each parent’s income, the number of children, and the percentage of custody each parent has with the children.

What happens if there’s past due child support after my child turns 18?

When the obligation to pay child support ends, the paying parent isn’t off the hook yet. ordered to pay support isn’t off the hook for back payments or support that was previously due but wasn’t paid. Unless the court orders that all or part of the arrears are waived, it must be paid.

The Department of Child Support Services may levy bank accounts, place property liens, garnish wages, or suspend driver’s licenses and passports to recover unpaid support.

Will the wage assignment for child support automatically end when the child support duty ends?

In Arizona, unless both parents agree not to do so, the court will order that child support be paid through a wage assignment, meaning support is taken directly from the obligor’s paycheck and is sent to the Arizona Support Payment Clearinghouse, then it’s sent to the receiving parent.

If the child support order contains an expiration date, ideally the wage assignment will end on that date, however, the employer may need to be reminded to terminate the wage garnishment. If your child support order doesn’t have an expiration date, your attorney will need to file a motion to terminate the wage assignment. 

Know your rights regarding child support in Tempe, Arizona

If you have questions regarding child support, you need experienced Tempe child support lawyer Adriana Blanchette. The team at Blanchette Law Firm PLLC is ready to provide you with the compassionate representation you deserve.

Schedule your consultation by calling (602) 881-1748.

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