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My Child Is Turning 18. Am I Done Paying Child Support?

My Child Is Turning 18. Am I Done Paying Child Support?

For years, you’ve paid child support to your ex to pay for your child’s care. But now that your child is turning 18, you’re now wondering: Am I done paying child support? By learning the answer to this question, you can figure out if your obligation is finished and how to move forward with your life. 

Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC in Houston, Texas, are certified in mediation, take a collaborative approach with their clients to ensure that their clients reach solutions that work for their families, and are devoted entirely to the practice of family law. We are fierce advocates for our clients and we’d be happy to assist you with child support issues you may be facing. Reach out to us today for an initial consultation.

When Child Support Ends in Texas

In Texas, child support typically ends when the child turns 18 or when they graduate high school, whichever comes later. So, for instance, if your child turns 18 in January but graduates from high school in May, the child support obligation would end in May.

There are some exceptions to this rule, however. Child support payments could stop earlier if your child legally emancipates themself from you and your ex, they get married before they turn 18, or they join the U.S. military.

Additionally, you may have to keep paying child support for an indefinite period of time if your child has a physical or mental disability that requires substantial care. Your child needs to have been disabled prior to their 18th birthday in order for child support to continue. The court will look at the child’s present and future needs, each parent’s financial situation and the amount of care that you and your ex are each providing to your child, among other factors.

Will Child Support Stop Automatically?

If your child support payment is withheld from your paycheck automatically via a Wage Withholding Order, your child support payment may not stop automatically when your child turns 18. Get in touch with the Child Support Division of the Attorney General’s office or with a lawyer from Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC to terminate your child support obligation.

Determining Child Support in Texas

The parent who is not in primary possession of a child will need to pay child support to the other parent. When calculating child support, the State of Texas will take your income into consideration. Income includes money you earn from your job, including tips, overtime, commissions, and bonuses, along with self-employment income, retirement benefits and pensions, capital gains and trust income, net rental income, workers’ comp, disability, and unemployment benefits, and alimony.

Then, the court will subtract your federal and state income taxes, union dues, Social Security taxes, non-discretionary retirement plan contributions, and dental and health insurance expenses for your child. Once these are subtracted from your income, your net resources will be determined.

If your monthly income is $9,200 or less, then you’ll need to pay a percentage of your total net resources that’s going to be based on the number of children you have. It ranges from 20% of your net resources for one child to at least 40% of net resources for six or more children.

How to Modify Child Support

If your financial situation changes at any time – for example, you get fired from your job and are forced to go on unemployment – then you can request to modify your child support obligation. You can file a modification case with the court and request that the judge changes your monthly obligation.

If you suddenly can’t pay child support, be in touch with your family lawyer as soon as possible. Let them know what happened and continue to pay as much as you can so the court treats you favorably.

Consequences for Failing to Pay Child Support

If you simply stop paying child support, you could get into trouble and face serious consequences. The State of Texas could garnish your wages, intercept your federal income tax refund and other state and federal monies, suspend your driver’s license, fish-and-game license, and professional license, file liens against your assets, and even send you to jail for up to six months for contempt of court. You may have to pay fines of up to $500 for each nonpayment and be ordered to pay your ex’s court costs as well as attorney fees.

Contact Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC

If you need help with child support issues, you can reach out to Boudreaux Hunter & Associates, LLC for help. We’ll be your source of support in your time of need. Make sure you get in touch online or by calling us at (713) 333-4430. We look forward to hearing from you soon and assisting you.

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