Stop Child Support Payments

See more child custody & support related topics

As a parent, you know it is your legal and moral obligation to help financially and emotionally support your children. Yet there comes a day when it is no longer your job to pay for your child’s food, clothing, and housing.

Once your son or daughter turns 18 years old and graduates from high school, it becomes their own responsibility to care for themselves. Realistically, you may continue to provide them with some financial help. However, your legal obligation to pay child support to your child’s other parent may be over and it is time to get that in writing to stop child support.

There are many reasons why it may be time to stop your child support payments, including circumstances other than your child turning 18 or finishing their education. You may have the right to terminate your financial obligation early. To learn more about when you can stop child support or when you must continue to pay, call an experienced and knowledgeable North Carolina custody attorney at Breeden Law Office at to schedule a consultation.

When North Carolina Child Support Ends

Under North Carolina law, child support typically continues until a child turns 18. However, there are two common reasons for child support to last longer:

  • Many adolescents turn 18 years old before they graduate from high school. A judge can order that support continues throughout the duration of the adolescent’s secondary education or until they turn 20 years old, whichever comes first. Though, this may be predicated on the student’s making satisfactory progress in school.
  • Many parents enter into written agreements to continue support past a child turning 18. As long as the contract is valid under the law, then the parent who has agreed to pay support for a longer duration must continue to do so. The parent who receives support can have a lawful contract enforced by the court.

There are many reasons why it may be time to stop your child support payments, including circumstances other than your child turning 18 or finishing their education. You may have the right to terminate your financial obligation early.

Can Child Support Be Stopped?

When You May Ask for Child Support to Stop

There are numerous circumstances in which it is appropriate to ask the court to terminate your child support obligation, including but not limited to:

  • Your child has turned 18 and is no longer in high school
  • Your child has finished their high school education
  • Your child has turned 20, whether or not they have finished high school
  • Your child is not living with their other parent whom you pay support to
  • Your child has been legally emancipated before they turn 18 years old
  • Your child is married before the age of 18
  • Your child is not a full-time student and has enlisted in the military
  • Your child lives with you a majority of the time
  • You and your child’s other parent have reunited and live together
  • You learn the child is not biologically related to you
  • Your child was deported
  • The custodial parent agrees to stop support

If you are dealing with one of the situations above, or you believe you have another reason for your child support obligation to end, then contact a North Carolina child support attorney from Breeden Law Office to learn more about stopping child support payments.

You Do Not Decide When Support Ends

You should not simply stop paying your child support unless you have a court order specifying that you no longer owe child support. Child support does not automatically stop since the Court has no way to know if one of the grounds for stopping support has been achieved without you bringing it to the Court’s attention. In this situation, you need to file a motion with the Court and get a court order to end your payments. If you wages are garnished, you will need to send a copy of the order to your employer.

If a court order has not terminated your financial obligation, then to quit paying could get you into legal trouble. You need to go about stopping your child support payments in the proper, legal way to avoid owing the other parent money, with interest, and other legal consequences for getting behind in support.

You may be concerned with over-paying, but if this is the case, Breeden Law Office will help you terminate your obligation and seek a refund of any excess amount.

How to Stop Child Support Payments

If you believe you have grounds for asking a court to terminate your child support obligation, then you need to contact a North Carolina child support lawyer from Breeden Law Office. Jonathan Breeden has years of family law experience, particularly in child matters. He will review your circumstances and provide you an objective opinion regarding whether you are likely to have your obligation end, reduced, or remain the same.

Once you have a child support attorney, you can petition the appropriate court to put a stop to your child support payments. You are going to have to attend a court hearing and prove that your obligation should end.

There must be evidence that circumstances have significantly changed such that your paying support is not in alignment with the law or purpose of such financial support. For instance, if your child has graduated from high school or dropped out, you may need to obtain a copy of the diploma or documentation and attach it to your request.

Speak with your lawyer to determine the best way to support your argument, including what documentation or testimony may be necessary to prove these new circumstances.

The court will review the facts of the case, your and the other parent’s argument, and compare your circumstances to what the law allows before making a determination.

Your Child’s Custodial Parent May Agree to End Support

There are common situations in which you need to return to court to end your support obligation, such as your child graduating from high school or turning 18 or 20 years old. Other circumstances are less common yet just as valid, including your child being legally emancipated before they turn 18.

Yet you may also motion the court to terminate your support based on a written agreement between you and your child’s custodial parent. If you and your child’s mother or father agree to end child support early, you may be able to present this consent agreement to the court and have your legal financial obligation put to an end.

Your child’s custodial parent can also petition the court to terminate your child support obligation, though this is less common.

Stopping Wage Garnishment

If your child support is paid through wage garnishment then it is essential you obtain an order that states when your child support obligation is done. You need this order to provide to North Carolina Child Support Centralized Collections and your employer. The state collections process and your employer will not stop garnishing your wages until a court order says they should. For help in ending your wage garnishment, call Breeden Law Office right away.

Contact a North Carolina Child Support Lawyer Today

As a divorced or unmarried parent, it can be challenging to figure out your legal rights and duties in regard to child custody, visitation, and support. The best way to learn more about your rights, obligations, and legal options is to work with an experienced child support lawyer from Breeden Law Office.

Attorney Jonathan Breeden will work with you to determine the facts of your situation and how that impacts your child support obligation. If there has been a significant change in circumstances since your child support order was put in place, then he will explain your options for seeking a modification or termination.

If you have the right to ask for your obligation to end, Jonathan will guide you through the court process. Once you have a new court order in place, stopping your child support payments, then he can also help you end any wage garnishment or retrieve excess child support payments.

Call Breeden Law Office today:

Call (919) 661-4970

Divorce In North Carolina: What You Need To Know

A book by Jonathan Breeden