The parents of a child both have a financial obligation to support their children, without regard to their relationship with the child. This means that if one parent chooses not to spend time with their child, this does not release them from the obligation to pay child support unless they terminate their parental rights.
With that being said, the noncustodial parent of a child will often wonder how long they will be required to pay child support and what their obligations will be once their child becomes an adult. Read on to learn more about how long you have to pay child support for minors and what happens once your child becomes of legal age in Pennsylvania.
Paying For Child Support For Kids Under 18
Both parents of children who are under the age of 18 are legally required to support their children financially. More often than not, the noncustodial parent, or the parent with whom the children do not primarily reside, will be the one to pay child support to the parent with child custody.
The amount of child support will vary based on a number of contributing factors, including the income and expenses of both parents, which parent is paying for healthcare, and more. Parents paying child support will then be compelled to do so until their child reaches the age of 18 or until they graduate from high school, whichever occurs later.
If you child turns 18 during their senior year of high school, for example, you would be obligated to pay child support throughout their senior year until graduation day.
But if your child does not turn 18 until after graduation, your obligation to provide for your child financially ends the day of their graduation from high school.
In cases where a child has dropped out of high school, you will be responsible for them until they reach the age of 18.
Financial Obligations into Adulthood
For most families, child support payments will end when a child reaches 18 or graduates, but if the child in question is disabled and unable to care for themselves or earn a living, then the financial obligation to support the child may not end at that point. It is not uncommon for child support orders to be reevaluated at some point before the child turns 18.
In some cases, if your child is going to be living in an assisted living facility, you may be paying the facility directly as opposed to paying your child’s other parent. If you have a child who has a disability and have questions about how much child support you should be paying and for how long, you will need to speak with your Pennsylvania lawyer.
Meet with a PA Child Support Lawyer
If you have additional questions about how long you should expect to pay child support, or for assistance in obtaining a child support order, contact our highly trained Lehigh Valley child support lawyers!