Termination of Child Support – When does it end?

Termination of Child Support
If you’re a parent you may wondering about the termination of child support. This article will provide a summary of when child support ends.

When does Child Support End?

Some parents mistakenly assume that child support ends when a child turns 18. The termination of child support is not based on a child becoming an adult. Child support laws in Canada require child support to be paid until the child is no longer a dependent child.

Adult Child Pursuing Full-Time Studies
If an adult child is in school full-time they are usually considered dependent. Child support usually ends when the adult child completes their first post-secondary diploma or degree. However, some courts have said that an undergraduate degree may not allow a child to become self-supporting. In such situations, child support is applicable if the child continues to pursue full-time studies. Examples of such situations may be where the adult child pursues a Master’s degree, medical school or law school. As a result, the courts may reduce the monthly child support amount after taking into accounts loans and grants available to the adult child, availability of part-time employment and the financial situation of the parent.

In some cases an adult child may not immediately commence post-secondary studies after graduating from high school. Child support would usually not be payable in such a case. However, if the adult child resumes full-time studies in a reasonable period, the law requires the payment of child support. For example, if an adult child returns to post-secondary education when they are 20, the law would require child support to be paid until the child turns 24. However, the older the adult child, the higher the chance that a court would end child support, reduce the amount or put in place an upper age limit.

Disability or Illness

If an adult child is unable to become self-supporting due to a disability or illness, the law may require a parent to pay child support. The law considers the impact of the disability or illness has on the child’s ability to work, the availability of financial benefits to the child and the financial means of the parent.

Marriage and Voluntarily Withdrawing From Parental Control

There may also be a termination of child support if a child marries or if a child voluntarily withdraws from their parent’s control. This would be by moving out of the parent’s home after the age of 16. However, the law states that a child’s withdrawal from parental control must be voluntary. Therefore, if the child is forced to leave the home, the child would still be considered a dependent.

For more information about child support matters, please contact our Toronto divorce lawyer here.

NOTICE AND DISCLAIMER: The material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please consult with a family lawyer

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Helpful Resources:

Divorce and Separation
Family Justice Services
Child Custody and Access
Child Support
Division or Equalization of Family Property
Treatment of a Matrimonial Home
Enforcement of Support Payments
Child Protection
Child Adoption