When a child support agreement is made between two ex-spouses, it is usually not meant to be in place past the child reaching adulthood. Most child support contracts end when the child is emancipated, or when a significant change of circumstance for either of the parents renders the current agreement irrelevant. It can be difficult to determine when it may be appropriate or necessary to end child support without the assistance of legal counsel. A knowledgeable attorney could help you amend your contract and help you understand the nuances of ending child support payments in Chattanooga.
One of the most common circumstances that warrant the ending of child support payments is a child’s emancipation. This occurs when a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs last. Other factors that might result in a release from child support obligation would be a modification to the parenting plan. An example of this would be a change in custody schedule or a parent’s income.
According to state law, child support payments are not impacted by a change in the marital status of the receiving parent. Even if remarriage gives the receiving parent a new source of income, the paying parent would still be obligated to make payments. Only the income of the biological parents is a factor in determining child support.
The death of one of the parties would also affect the requirement of continued child support. For the person paying child support, there is often a clause in their parenting plan that requires them to carry a certain amount of life insurance with the other parent listed as the trustee for the child. In the event of death, a local lawyer could calculate the total amount of child support over time and the parent who has to pay that support will get a life insurance policy in that amount. This way, even if the payor had an untimely death, the child can still be supported through that life insurance payment.
If the parties wish to end their child support agreement before the child reaches the age or status of emancipation, they must prove a change of circumstance has occurred. The two parties would then have to input new information, such as a change in income, into the child support worksheet to do determine an updated amount, which could reduce the original number or bring it down to zero.
If nothing has changed between the parties, a termination of child support payments would not be allowed, and the number calculated by the child support worksheet would remain the same. An attorney in the area could help utilize the worksheet to end the child support payments.
There are multiple factors involved in the termination of child support payments, and it can be confusing to determine if you are eligible to end your agreement. Skilled legal counsel could simplify the process and allow you to effectively stop your payments. Call today to schedule a consultation and discuss the steps involved in ending child support payments in Chattanooga.