It is common for divorcing parents to enter into a child support agreement that will be enforced by the court. These agreements usually remain in place until the child turns 18, but there are some factors and changes in circumstance that could warrant the termination of a contract. If you believe you have a compelling reason to stop your child support payments, a Hamilton County lawyer could take on your case and help you amend your agreement.
There are two main factors that can end child support requirements in Hamilton County. First, a child support contract is usually terminated when a child turns 18, or when they graduate from high school, whichever happens second. For example, if a child turns 18 during their senior year but graduates several months later, the triggering date would be their graduation date. Conversely, if a 17-year-old child graduates high school, payments would stop when they turn 18.
Other factors that might warrant a termination of payments would be a significant modification to a parenting plan, such as a change in custody. Both parties would have to run the child support worksheet to determine a new child support amount, which could potentially be reduced to zero. It is also important to note that the remarriage of one parent would not justify ending payments, as it is only the biological parents’ income that determines support.
Whenever there is a change of 15 percent in the paying parent’s income and a variance of 15 percent in the final child support number, either party could make a case to modify or terminate a child support contract. This is known as the significant variance standard, and a qualified local attorney could help a paying parent calculate this figure using the state’s official child support guidelines.
If there is no significant change in circumstance for either party, like a shift in income, a parent will not be able to make a case for terminating child support payments. The state-mandated guidelines demand a clear change in circumstance, and state courts adhere to these guidelines closely. However, there are some circumstances that could lead to a deviation from the guidelines.
For example, if a child is attending private school and the paying parent is also financing that tuition, the court may give them a break on child support while they are making those tuition payments. However, the court would not permit a total termination of child support payments in cases like this.
The death of parent is one factor that will stop regular child support payments. If the paying parent passes away, there is often a clause in their parenting plan that requires a certain amount of life insurance to be given to the child’s trustee. Often, a family lawyer will calculate the total amount of child support that the paying parent would have given over time, and the receiving parent will get a life insurance policy in that amount.
The rules surrounding child support in Hamilton County are complex, and it may be difficult to meet the requirements for stopping payments without first consulting a seasoned attorney. If you wish to terminate your child support contract, a qualified legal professional could help. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.