Parents in Arizona who pay child support or who receive it may wonder how long that support must last. Most of the time, child support ends when the child reaches the age of majority.
In Arizona, this age is 18 with a few exceptions. If the child has a disability that restricts independent living and the disability existed before the child reached the age of 18, a parent may be ordered to continue the child support payments. A parent may also be obligated to continue support up to the age of 19 if a child is still working toward a high school diploma or equivalency diploma. Another exception is if the child becomes emancipated. A child of at least 16 can file for emancipation in Arizona. Child support obligations may end at this time.
Parents must always go to court to change child support orders even if the reason is because the child is turning 18. There are other reasons it may be necessary to do so as well. A parent may also have a change in financial circumstances such as losing a job. In such a case, it is possible to revisit the child support order in court to have it modified.
Courts may consider a number of different factors when determining child support including the income of both parents, what the child is accustomed to and the child’s needs. Those who are seeking child support or who will likely be ordered to pay it may wish to seek the assistance of a family law attorney. Generally, a parent will wish to balance their own resources with that of the other parent and with what is best for the child, and an attorney may be able to assist in determining this.
Source: FindLaw, “When Does Child Support End?”, accessed on Feb. 18, 2015