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When Can I Stop Paying Child Support in TN?

Following a divorce between parents, one parent may have to pay the other parent child support since the law assumes the custodial parent spends money directly on the child. However, continually making these payments for years can lead to financial stress and leaving custodial parents wondering when child support will end. 

In Tennessee, parents are legally responsible for supporting their child until he/she turns 18 years old or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. This is commonly considered as the “age of majority,” which is the legal age when a person is an adult and can make their own legal decisions. 

However, there are several situations where child support payments continue after a child reaches the age of majority in Tennessee: 

  • The child either enrolls or graduates from college 

  • The emancipation of a child 

  • The child has special needs and unable to take care of himself/herself after reaching adulthood 

Remember, paying parents must seek to terminate a support order in family court, rather than stop paying entirely. If you stop making payments without filing a motion to terminate child support, a judge could rule that you are still obligated to pay child support and even result in an arrearage. 

In addition, if you have multiple children and one of them reaches the age of majority, you must file a motion to modify child support before reducing the payment amounts required to support your remaining children. However, the other parent may wish to either keep the payment amounts the same or increase the amounts if a change in circumstances requires additional funds. 

If you are interested in modifying or terminating child support payments in Chattanooga, contact Conner & Roberts, PLLC today at (423) 299-4489 for a free initial consultation. Our legal team has nearly 40 years of combined legal experience! 

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