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What events can terminate a child support order?

Child support is an important obligation that a parent has with regard to their child. In Arizona, a parent may be ordered to pay child support to provide their child with their basic necessities and other requirements. Often, child support orders and agreements are created pursuant to divorces and parental separations.

A parent's child support obligation will generally last until the child becomes a legal adult at the age of 18. If a child is still in high school when their 18th birthday occurs, then the parent may be accountable to continue payments until the child turns 19 or graduates from their secondary education program. Children with special needs may be given child support for longer periods of time in order to provide them with the assistance their conditions require.

Generally, however, there are some events that may curtail a parent's child support obligation prior to their child becoming an adult. For example, if a child pursues legal emancipation from their parent, then the parent may be released from their mandated support of the child. Emancipation often requires a child to show that they can subsist without the financial support of their parents.

In addition, other paths chosen by a child may bring their parents' child support obligations to their ends. A child's decision to join the military may end a parent's child support obligation just as a child's decision to get married may also cut short an otherwise valid child support order.

Knowing how and when a child support order will terminate can depend on the particulars of a family's legal situation. The best way to understand one's own child support circumstances is discuss their order or agreement with their individual family law attorney.

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