While Missouri parents will want to pay child support to care for their children after they have parted ways with the other parent, it is still a significant financial outlay that can cause them to struggle to make ends meet. There is nothing wrong with asking when the child support will no longer need to be paid. On the other side, the custodial parent will also want to know the circumstances under which child support might terminate so they can be prepared for it. Knowing when child support can be terminatedis critical for all parties.

According to the law, the circumstances will dictate when the child support will stop and if it must continue. In general, the child support will end if the child: dies; gets married; becomes an active member of the military; is self-supporting with the caveat that the custodial parent no longer maintains parental control over the child either by express or implied consent; turns 18-years-old except in certain situations; or turns 21, again, unless there are certain situations in place.

Children who are incapacitated mentally or physically and cannot provide self-support, are unmarried and insolvent can continue getting child support beyond the age of 18. Should the child reach 18 and attend a secondary school, the parental support will continue provided the child is making progress and attending the school to complete its program. The support will be paid until the child finishes the program or turns 21, whichever comes first. The payments can also continue if the child is enrolled in an institute for higher education and does so before October after completing secondary school. The payments will be made until age 21 should the child remain in the school in good standing.

When there are concerns about child support and when it might terminate, the parents should be aware of the rules regulating this and be prepared. If there is a dispute about it or confusion as to when it might stop, a law firm that is experienced in family law can help from the perspective of the custodial or noncustodial parent.