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Age is not the only factor when determining child support

Maryland residents may believe that child support ends when a child reaches the age of majority at 18 or 21. However, this is not necessarily the case. Sometimes, a parent is obligated to continue providing support for a special needs child well into adulthood. It is also possible that a parent can ask to terminate a support order because that child has been legally emancipated.

Children may be emancipated because they joined the military, obtained economic independence or are getting married. However, it is important to note that a child may still be entitled to support after they reach the age of majority. This may be true if the child is still in need of care or support from an adult. A minor may also be emancipated if they abandon the home that their parents provided.

Noncustodial parents should be aware that a child support order does not terminate automatically. Therefore, it will be necessary to ask a court to terminate the order. When making a decision as to whether or not further support is warranted, the judge will take into account whether or not the best interests of the child are being met. If they are not, additional support payments may be necessary.

Those who are having trouble making support payments may ask for a child support modification. A judge may look at a parent's income and other relevant factors. Generally, any ruling made will take the best interests of the child into account. Even if a modification is granted, a parent may still be responsible for paying any back support owed. Parents may wish to talk with an attorney to learn more about their rights and obligations related to child support payments.

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