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Duration of Child Support

In some instances child support may continue after the child turns 18.

In Orlando, Tampa and throughout Florida, child support will typically end when the child turns 18, unless the parents previously agreed to a later date. However, in some instances child support may continue after the child turns 18. For example, if the child is in high school and not yet 19 years old, the child support will continue if it is reasonably certain the child will graduate high school before turning 19. Additionally, the court may indefinitely continue child support past the age of 18 for a child who is still dependent because of severe mental or physical incapacities. Fla. Stat. § 61.30.

Likewise, a court may sometimes end child support before the child turns 18. For example, child support may be terminate when the child has large assets or an independent income that can meet their financial needs. Fla. Stat. § 61.30(a). Additionally, child support may end if the child is at least 16 and becomes emancipated by joining the armed services or becoming married. Fla. Stat. § 61.13. Knowing how long child support must be paid for is just as important as knowing how much child support should be paid. As seen above, the common rule that child support ends at 18 may not always be the case. It may be worth contacting an experienced Tampa or Orlando divorce lawyer and determing whether or not the above options are in play. 

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