What Is The Process For Ending Child Support?

child supportQuestion:

What is the process for ending child support payments once a child reaches the age of emancipation? Also, what affect will that have on arrears?


While I am not licensed to practice law in your state and cannot give you legal advice, I can give some general observations on this issue based on the jurisdiction where I practice.

Where I do practice in Pennsylvania, the obligation to pay child support ceases when the youngest minor child is emancipated (turns 18 or graduates high school, whichever is later). Once the child is nearing emancipation, the court will usually schedule a conference to confirm the emancipation and, if possible, begin the process of closing out the child support case.

Philadelphia divorce attorney William Phelan
Philadelphia divorce attorney William Phelan

If this does not happen, a parent who is paying child support can always call the support office and ask about ending the case because of emancipation.

Even when a child support case is closed, the parent who is obligated to pay support will still be responsible for any arrearages left on the account.

Pennsylvania support offices also allow a party to request an accounting of their account if it is believed that there is an error in the account.

Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your jurisdiction to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney, including Pennsylvania divorce lawyer William J. Phelan, IV, contact Cordell & Cordell.

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3 comments on “What Is The Process For Ending Child Support?

    My divorce took place in Colorado but my ex moved to Florida and has lived there since (excepting a year when she moved back to Colorado without telling me). I live in Vermont. She has had all the court documents put into the Florida Court system. There were errors on the document- my Social Security # is incorrect and the age that my children will be “emancipated” from child support is 19. Florida law says 18. I wonder if I can challenge this. I only see my children for apx. 3 weeks a year (no money). She took them away when they were 2 & 4. That’s many many years of child support. I am broke from it. When I challenge the court, they respond that it is up to the mother to change the child support, and that I can’t do it. Why is this?


    I have 2 children and was ordered to pay child support after divorce 4 years ago in Maryland. My oldest son just turned 18 in November and has took himself out of school and been in a lot of trouble in my ex’s care. I have no arrearages and have always been current. Could I have my 18 year old emancipated and my payments adjusted for my youngest son who is 9?

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