When Will My Child Support Payments End?

A Difficult Question to Ask

Those paying child support know the financial burden that it can be on top of regular expenses. Many wonder if those payments can ever end but are scared to ask the question because of how asking such a question may look to other people, especially the ex-spouse. This question, however, is a valid one and appropriate to ask at the right time.


According to Missouri law, a parent must pay child support until that child turns 18 years old. The child must also have graduated from high school and have not enrolled in a college-level program yet. This does not apply to children who are physically or mentally incapacitated; those support payments could extend for as long as the life of the child.

If the child is in college, then child support payments will continue until he or she graduates from the program. The parent also does not have to make support payments if the child is attending the college program on a less than full-time basis.

Finally, as it relates to age, a parent does not have to make any more payments when the child turns 21 years old.

Life Events

Missouri law dictates that a parent no longer has to pay child support when/if that child gets married. Such an event would supersede the age requirement for child support payments. Child support obligations do not end if the co-parent remarries.

A parent is also released from his or her child support obligation if the child enters into active duty military service. Similarly, this also supersedes the age requirement.

Finally, child support payment obligations would end if the child in question passes away.

Court Orders

Regardless of the circumstances, parents must follow court orders and pay child support payments as mandated. Failure to do so can lead to serious legal issues.

If you are struggling to make your payments and want to adjust your amount, speak with a member of the team at Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices about your case. We have the expertise needed to help you seek your modification.

Call us today at (573) 279-1349 to set up a consultation.