Child support in Florida does not always end when you think it will. Florida law requires that, in general, the obligation to pay child support ends when the child reaches the age of eighteen. That is not, however, always the case.
When Does Florida Child Support End? (part two)
Any expert Tampa divorce lawyer will tell you that the most notable exception to that rule applies to situations where a child is scheduled to celebrate the eighteenth birthday while still in high school. The law gives the courts the option to extend the child support obligation to when the child graduates. In my opinion, this part of the law is poorly written. It allows the child support to continue until graduation only if the child is expected to graduate before the age of nineteen. If a child turns eighteen the week before the end of her junior year and is expected to turn nineteen the week before the end of her senior year, the child support will stop at her eighteenth birthday because she has no expectation of graduating before age nineteen. It would seem more fair to allow child support to continue to high school graduation or age nineteen whichever occurs first.
When Does Florida Child Support End? (part three)
Child support will also end when a child becomes emancipated. There are certain situations where a court will order the emancipation of a child in order to remove the child from the control of the parents before the age of eighteen if it is in the best interests of the child.
The other ways that child support will end before age eighteen is if the child marries, joins the armed services or dies.
Finally, if a child is dependent (for example, because of mental retardation or some other debilitating condition), the court may extend the requirement to support the child indefinitely.
Bottom line: Ask your expert Florida divorce lawyer if any of these exceptions to the rule apply in your situation.
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