Child support is an obligation required of parents who do not have fully shared custody of their children. As a parent paying child support, you want what’s best for your children, but you likely also want to minimize how much support you pay and how long you will have to pay it.

Understanding the general rules that Texas has for the end of child support can help you determine when your obligation will likely end.

Child support often ends at adulthood or high school graduation

In many cases, a parent’s official obligation to pay child support can end on their child’s 18th birthday, but you may need to continue paying child support for some time after that. Depending on your family circumstances and when your child’s birthday falls during the year, it’s possible that they could turn 18 while still enrolled in high school. In that situation, your support obligations could continue after your child’s 18th birthday until they finish their high school education.

Your divorce documentation could require a longer payment period

If your child is college-bound, the courts or the parents themselves may agree that child support should continue until the children finish their education. Reviewing your divorce decree and looking to see if there’s language that addresses college in it can help you determine if you will have to continue paying after your child finishes their secondary education.

Even if you don’t have an obligation to help with its cost, it’s important to remember that college could be the foundation for your child’s successful professional future and that your contributions could determine whether or not they can afford to go to the school they want to attend.