2 April 2014 0 Comments

How Long Must I Pay Child Support?

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iStock 000010906325 Large 1 300x187 How Long Must I Pay Child Support?Every child deserves the right to be supported by both parents. Paying child support is an obligation – not a choice.

Today, where sons and daughters remain longer in the family home, one may question the concept of childhood dependence ending at majority.

In many cases, a child who turns 18 is considered an adult and therefore, signals an ending to many years of required financial child support payments.

However, before you get excited that your bank account will be increased each month, you should understand the law regarding child support and whether or not it actually ends when your child turns 18.

California law requires both parents to provide support for their minor children. The amount of child support a non-custodial parent must pay is determined by statutory guidelines and can vary depending upon the financial situation of parents, as well as the age and number of children.

According to California Family Code Section 3900, “Subject to this division, the father and mother of a minor child have an equal responsibility to support their child in the manner suitable to the child’s circumstances”.

According to California Family Code Section 3901(a), “The duty of support imposed by Section 3900 continues as to an unmarried child who has attained the age of 18 years, is a full-time high school student, and who is not self-supporting, until the time the child completes the 12th grade or attains the age of 19 years, whichever occurs first”.

In Summary, in California the obligation to pay a support order ends when:

  • The child attains the age of 18
  • Marries
  • Emancipates
  • Attains the age of 19 and is still a high school student
  • By order of the court

A reduction in child support is not automatic just because a child reaches 18. Some of the factors that the court will consider before making a reduction include:

  1. Needs of the remaining children under the age of 18 – if applicable
  2. Current income of both parents

If you have questions regarding whether or not you have to pay child support, allow the family law offices of Holstrom, Sissung & Block to help you get the answers you need. We will address all of your child support and family law questions and concerns. We will work aggressively to make sure the welfare of your children is protected.

Call for an appointment at one of our conveniently located offices in Riverside, San Bernardino or Orange County.

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