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This week on Lawyer Says, our Family Law attorneys discuss how and when a Maryland child support order is terminated due to a child “aging out.”

The Question: How do I go about ending my obligated child support payments as my kids age out? Is the order automatically terminated, or do I need to hire a lawyer to petition for termination?

How do I go about ending the child support obligation as my kids age out? Is it automatic? Do I need to hire a lawyer to petition for termination?

The Answer: It all depends on the age of the children and the number of children that you’re paying child support for.

The manner in which your child support obligation ends depends on the age and the number of children that you’re paying to support.

One thing about child support that many people don’t realize is that, if a child is still enrolled in high school, they don’t automatically “age out” of child support upon turning 18. The child support order will continue past their 18th birthday until they either graduate high school or turn 19 years old.

Also, if you’re paying child support for more than one child as part of the same child support order, you will need to petition to specifically stop supporting the child who is aging out. On the other hand, if there’s only one child on the order and they’re aging out, then the order will end automatically.

Side note: if the support order is in arrears, it must be entirely paid off before the order can be terminated. So, make sure you are current and up to date with your child support payments before petitioning to end the obligation.

The good news is that, in most cases, you don’t need to hire a lawyer to terminate child support, you can simply fill out the appropriate form and file it with the court. However, having a lawyer help with your petition only benefits your situation. A lawyer knows what is needed to terminate the support, how to file the necessary paperwork, and how to navigate the intricacies of a support order that concerns more than one child.

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Our automatic disclaimer: We’re lawyers, but not necessarily your lawyer, and do not represent the individual who asked this question. We’re providing this information for general educational purposes based on the publicly available information provided by the anonymous Internet user. Any number of details may change how this individual’s attorney may pursue this legal situation, differently from how we suppose above. If you have a similar question, then you should consult with a lawyer about your specific situation to get a “real” response!