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When Does Child Support End in TN?

After a divorce between parents, the noncustodial parent pays the custodial parent child support for the purpose of providing financial assistance to caring and raising the children. However, years of ongoing child support payments can be a financial burden, which is why it is important to understand when these payments will end. 

According to Tennessee family law, parents have a legal obligation to financially supporting their child until the child reaches 18 years of age and he/she is no longer a high school student or when the child graduates high school (after turning 18) – whichever is later. This is commonly known as the “age of majority,” which is the legal age a person is no longer a minor and can make their own legal decisions. 

However, the following are other considerations that may prolong child support past the age of majority: 

  • The parents are caring for a disabled child that is unable to take care of himself/herself when he/she reaches adulthood 

  • The parents agreed to provide support until the child graduates college 

  • The emancipation of a minor 

When a child turns 18 years old or graduates high school, the noncustodial parent must file a motion to terminate child support in family court. If a parent simply stops paying child support when the child reaches the age of majority without a termination order entry and court approval, then a judge can rule that support must continue, which means you could end up paying an arrearage or back payments. 

If the parents have more than one child and one of them turns 18 or graduates high school, that doesn’t mean the noncustodial parent will have his/her child support obligation reduced. Instead, the custodial parent may request additional funds for the remaining minor children, especially if the child needs additional services, or there is a change in income, healthcare, or other expenses. 

If you are interested in modifying or terminating a current child support order in Jackson or Clarksville, contact Casey, Simmons & Bryant, PLLC today to learn about your legal options. Get a legal team with more than 30 years of combined legal experience on your side!