According to the Texas Family Code, Section 154.001, parents have a duty to provide child support to their children. In Texas, the obligation of child support continues until any one of the following occurs:
Furthermore, the child support obligation will continue after the child reaches 18 years of age or graduates high school if the child is disabled for an indefinite period. What does all of this mean? We will discuss each event that triggers the termination of a child support payment obligation below.
If a child is still in school when they turn eighteen, then the support obligation will continue. If a child graduates high school at any age younger than eighteen, the obligor parent must pay child support until they reach the age of eighteen.
If children are emancipated through marriage, or through the removal of the disabilities of minority by court order, or by other operation of law, then the obligor parent’s payments will cease. Emancipation means that a child that is under eighteen is no legally under no duty to remain under the supervision of their parents. So then, what does the phrase, “removal of the disabilities of minority by court order mean?” It simply means, that in the eyes of the law, the child at the center of a child support order is no longer considered to be a child. As such, a parent has no obligation to render support to an individual who is no longer considered to be a child. Emancipation through marriage, generally means that if a child marries, then the child support obligation ceases. The removal of disabilities of minority by court order occurs when a Judge issues an order that permits a child to have the same rights as an adult.
Gratefully, we have never encountered this yet, but this triggering event is pretty straight forward. If a child dies, the obligor parent is no longer responsible for making support payments.
What is considered to be an indefinite period of child support? Child support may be ordered for an indefinite period when there is a disabled child. What does it mean to be disabled? According to the Texas Family Code Section, 154.302 “Disabled” means:
Child support in Texas must be paid. Generally, in Texas, a child support obligation lasts until the child turns 18 or graduates high school. However, the tenure of support payments will be determinate upon each individual’s situation. If you would like to go over a range of possible outcomes, contact an experienced attorney today.
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