Parenting is a challenging job — and often an expensive one. If you have been ordered to pay child support, you know that these payments are intended to cover your child's basic needs. But how long do you have to pay? When does child support end in California?

When Does Child Support Typically End?

Child Reaches 18

In most cases, child support ends once a child reaches the "age of majority" which is typically 18..


Under the Emancipation of Minors Law, an "emancipated minor" will assume most adult responsibilities before they reach 18. The minor will be considered emancipated if they are under age 18 and:
  • Gets married
  • Joins the military
  • Receives a judicial declaration of emancipation

Termination of Parental Rights

When the court terminates a parent's parental rights, they are no longer obligated to pay child support. However, that also means that the parent no longer has a right to custody or visitation as well.

Can I File an End of Child Support Request?

In order to end child support ,you must file a request with the right California family court. Even if your child is emancipated or you lose parental rights, you will still need to file a request to legally make the payments end. Once you file your request, you will need to attend a court hearing. During the hearing, the presiding judge will decide to either approve or decline your request to end child support.

My Child Is Over 18. Why Do I Still Need to Pay Child Support?

Even if your child is over age 18, the court may order you to pay child support if your adult child is:
  • Disabled
  • Owed duty of support
  • Still in high school
In addition, some parents may agree to continue child support payments until a specific age over 18 years old.

Can You End Child Support If You're Not the Father?

Unfortunately, there are instances where after years of paying child support, a father finds out that he is not the child's biological father. In those cases, it is typically too late to challenge paternity. Furthermore, for the sake of the best interest of the child, you most likely won't get your money back and you may still be ordered to continue child support. And while you can request an end to child support, it is an extremely complex process.

Speak to a Fresno Child Support Lawyer

If you have questions about when does child support end in California, speak to an experienced child support lawyer. We can help you modify a support order and advise you of your options. Contact the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks today or call (559)222-4891.
Categories: Child Support