If you are a parent paying child support, it is important to know how to stop your payments after the child turns 18. If you want to do this, make sure you speak with a lawyer about how best to proceed.
There are many considerations and steps on how to stop child support payments. So be sure to have all of the necessary information before starting down this path. Keep reading this blog post to find out more about this topic!
When Do You Stop Paying Child Support?
In Canada, child support is payable until a child turns 18. There are exceptions to this rule. For example, child support payments may extend if the child is still in high school/ college/university when they turn 18 or after 18.
In These 2 Circumstances, You Need to Continue Child Support
- A child is deemed disabled if they cannot engage in “gainful employment” because of a mental or physical disability. Suppose the child lives with a physical or mental condition that will affect their ability to work or earn money. In that case, child support may need to continue child support after 18.
- What’s the current education status of the child? You usually need to make payment after 18 if the child isn’t ready to finance his education by own. Usually, the court will measure it. But the court expects the child to pay the child support if the child is currently working.
* That’s what FLA ( Family Law Act) said about child support payment.
How to Terminate Child Support?
Every province has different rules and regulations surrounding child support. But these stand out most common.
By Court Order
Child support is often a topic of discussion in family court. But it’s also important to know that some orders may specify that child-related payments stop on a particular date. The parent would need to provide evidence in court that shows:
- The age of the child
- The reason why child support should cease
- That there’s no financial need for child support
So after the court accepts the evidence, the Family Responsibility Office (FRO) is notified when a court issues an order. It means that once the FRO knows about it, they will notify you about how to finalize these obligations.
By Separation Agreement
A separation agreement can make child support payments and obligations stop. For this, both parties must agree that they won’t need financial support from the other. Once both parties sign the separation agreement, it is binding. Courts cannot vary such agreements unless it was fraudulent or not in children’s best interests.
Modification of Support
Parents can’t unilaterally stop child support payments. Either the other parent must agree to terminate child support, or a court must make this decision. Suppose you are considering modifying your existing child support arrangement.
In that case, it’s best to get legal advice. You may be able to self-represent in court, but you should seek advice from a lawyer in the case.
By Legal Assistance
A parent can take the assistance of a lawyer if they want to stop paying child support legally. The lawyer will help them get the other parent’s agreement or file an application in court to stop child support. If you’re on social assistance, you may also be able to seek legal aid to stop paying child support.
Factors Impacting to Stop Child Support Payments
Stopping child support payments is not very good for responsible people, and it has its consequences. You may face several factors during the stop. However, here are some factors impacting stopping child support payments.
Age of Child
Whether child support should continue after the child turns 18 has a lot to do with the child’s age. Child support is not applicable if the child is over 18 and living on their own. However, child support may be payable if a child needs to go to school/college/university.
A child’s age isn’t the only consideration. It also depends on whether they are capable of supporting themselves through employment and other means.
Level of Education
It’s also possible to stop child support payments if a child is enrolled in school or university as long as they can support themselves through other means. Suppose child support is required to continue after the child turns 18. Then, it will get reduced by the income the child earns per month.
Child Moves Out from The Family
If a child moves out of the family, they are on their own, which will impact whether child support continues. There is no set age when a child is considered “independent.” But it varies depending upon the circumstances. Allowing your child to move out doesn’t mean they cannot receive financial support.
You may be able to negotiate financial support for them after they move out. Suppose your child is capable of supporting themselves through employment by the time they move out. In that case, it is unlikely that they will need further financial help from you.
Marriage of Child
In most of the case, child support will stop entirely if a child gets married. Yet, there are exceptions to this rule. Suppose your child marries before the age of majority. In that case, he or she may still entitle to get financial support under certain circumstances. This includes if the child is working at a low-income job, unemployed, and cannot provide for themselves through other means.
Child Support Ends When Child Dies
It is rare to make child support payments after the death of a child. But, there are exceptions to this rule. Suppose a parent has taken care of their disabled children and provided them with financial help all their life. In that case, they may be able to ask for compensation after the child dies.
Some Common Questions Raised About Child Support Payments
Do I Need to Pay Child Payment Even If My Child Is Pursuing Post-secondary Education?
Yes, you must pay child support even if the child is pursuing post-secondary education. However, it varies depending upon the circumstances. There is a wide range of varying expenses that accompany post-secondary education. And the student needs to be aware.
This includes tuition and living costs while your child studies full-time. Usually, the court will re-evaluate from time to time. Suppose your child is currently pursuing a Ph.D. degree. The court will take this into account while making its decision.
Can I Stop Paying Child Support If My Child Moves Back?
No, you can’t stop paying child support, even if it is temporary. The parent should seek legal advice before moving the child back in with them. You may be able to get temporary relief from paying child support while your child is living with you. But this doesn’t apply to every case.
As a parent, it is natural to want your child to be financially independent. If you have been paying child support for 18 years or more, the responsibility may become too much and should not be just your job.
If you’re looking for legal advice on how to stop child support payments, contact us today. Our team of experienced lawyers can help you determine what’s best for you.