Child support can be a massive financial obligation for Californians. This is especially true for those who have multiple children, children with extensive needs, and those who have an insignificant income. There are a variety of factors that can affect child support, many of which can change over time. This means that child support modification, one direction or the other, is often justified. But when can a child support obligation be ended?
There are a number of ways. To start, one's obligation to pay child support ends when a child becomes the age of majority. In California, this is the age of 18. Another way child support obligations cease is when a child becomes emancipated. Emancipation occurs when a child becomes self-sufficient, thereby no longer needing support from his or her parents. Emancipation can occur when a child joins the military, leaves home, or gets married.
Outside of these situations, it is very difficult to have a court find that child support either is not owed or is no longer owed. However, those who are struggling to pay their court-ordered obligation can seek a modification of their owed support. In some instances, a court may issue or modify a child support order to $0. Although this is temporary in nature, it can certainly allow an individual to avoid the financial burden while they seek the financial stability they need.
Regardless of whether an individual is a custodial or noncustodial parent, child support can play an important financial role in a child's upbringing. With that being said, difficulties in paying or recovering owed support can cause financial strain on parents, too. These matters can be extremely frustrating and leave families in a difficult position money-wise. To find relief, these individuals should discuss the matter with a family law attorney of their choosing.