Child support is an important way for Michigan parents to ensure that their children have everything tangible that they need after a divorce. While children need love, support, and nurturing from their parents, they also need clothing, housing, food, and many other items in order to survive and thrive. Child support is the financial contribution that parents give to provide for their kids’ physical needs.

Child support, though, does not last forever. Not all parents understand when child support will end, and this post introduces some of the ways that child support orders and agreements may terminate. No part of this post should be read as legal advice and all questions about child support should be directed to dedicated family law attorneys.

Do parents have to support kids into their adulthood?

Child support is for kids. It is to protect children from going without what they need. As such, child support obligations often end when children become adults and have the capacity for self-sufficiency. In Michigan, child support can end when a child reaches 18 years old or when the child reaches 19 and one-half years old and is living with their parents while still attending high school.

Parent can, however, agree to support their kids into adulthood. Some parents may agree to pay for their kids to go to college or support them through transitions into adulthood. These agreements can be set up with the support of the parents’ divorce lawyers.

Can child support end before a kid becomes an adult?

There are ways for child support obligations to end before children reach adulthood. Some of these ways include the following:

  • Financial emancipation: The child legally emancipates from their parents to live independently and without support.
  • Marriage: The child enters into marriage before adulthood.
  • Military service: The child joins the military before adulthood.

Ending a child support obligation requires the fulfillment of specific legal procedures. Readers can talk to their family law attorneys about what they must do to legally bring their child support obligations to their rightful ends.