In the state of Texas, you have to pay child support until your child is legally emancipated. Most people assume that their children are emancipated at the age of eighteen. However, emancipation actually starts when your child is self-sufficient, and that might take longer than you expect.
When does your child become emancipated?
If you don’t get custody of your child after your divorce, you might have to pay child support until your child reaches adulthood. Depending on the situation, you might lose your obligation when your child turns eighteen. However, if your child goes to college, you might have to pay child support until they graduate.
When a child goes to college, their parents typically help them pay for fees like books and tuition. In some cases, their parents pay for most or all of their college expenses. Many children don’t have the time to move out or find a full-time job while they’re in college, making them partially reliant on their parents. For this reason, your child might not be legally emancipated until they leave college.
However, your divorce attorney might point out that there are exceptions to this rule. Your child might be legally emancipated if they get married while they’re in college. Joining the military or dropping out of college to work full time could also make them emancipated. On the other hand, you might have to pay child support for the rest of your life if your child is disabled and can’t live on their own.
How long will you have to pay child support?
Your attorney could tell you how long you might have to pay child support. If you’re just starting the divorce process, an attorney could help you negotiate for a more favorable outcome.