Can you stop paying child support at the age of majority?

When you set up a child support plan, it may specify that the age of majority marks the end of that agreement. The child is then old enough to get by without the support. However, not all agreements say this explicitly, and so you never want to assume that this is the cutoff date in British Columbia.

One exception is that some parents have to pay while the child attends school. Many students, though technically over the age of majority, still live at home and are supported by their parents. They get things like food, shelter and the like. The payments may need to continue until the child graduates so that both parents are providing this support.

Another exception is if the child has some sort of illness or disability. This could even keep the child from ever moving out of the home. If you were still married, you’d both have to help support and care for the child for the rest of your lives, and so child support payments may not end at any specific age.

The thing to remember is that courts may rule in a way that makes child support less about someone being a child and more about whether or not that individual needs parental support. Age is only part of the equation, and so this means that every case can be ruled on a little bit differently, giving you different obligations that have to be met.

When you hear the ruling, make sure that you know all of the legal ramifications thereof, and be sure you know what legal options are open to you.

Source: Family Maintenance Enforcement Program, “Child support for children over the age of majority,” accessed Aug. 13, 2015

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