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Terminating child support

In Massachusetts, parents who are required to pay child support must continue to make payments until the support order is terminated. There are several circumstances under which a child support order can be legally ended. In many cases, the payments must continue until the child is legally considered an adult. However, there may be circumstances under which payments can be ended before that time.

In many states, child support orders can be terminated when the child reaches the age of majority. This is the age when a child is legally considered an adult and capable of providing for themselves. In Massachusetts, the age of majority is 18. However, child support payments are not automatically terminated as soon as the child reaches their 18th birthday.

Child support payments can also be terminated if a child is legally emancipated. Emancipation occurs if a child obtains legal permission to leave the care of their custodial parent and become self-supporting. This can happen before the child reaches the age of majority. If the emancipation proceedings are successful, the child will be legally considered independent and no longer require child support payments.

Child support orders may not be terminated automatically. The parent who is being ordered to make the payments will have to contact the court to request that their order be ended.

Family law issues can be complex and highly emotional. An attorney might be able to help by providing an impartial assessment of a child support situation and offering advice about terminating or modifying a child support order.

Source: FindLaw, "When Does Child Support End?," Accessed Feb. 26, 2015

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