How to Terminate Child Support in Arkansas

By Elizabeth Rayne

In Arkansas, certain events automatically end the obligation to pay child support, provided that your settlement agreement does not provide otherwise. Child support automatically terminates when the child becomes an adult, or becomes emancipated, meaning that a court finds that the child is legally an adult who can make her own decisions and support herself.

In Arkansas, certain events automatically end the obligation to pay child support, provided that your settlement agreement does not provide otherwise. Child support automatically terminates when the child becomes an adult, or becomes emancipated, meaning that a court finds that the child is legally an adult who can make her own decisions and support herself.

Automatic Expiration

In Arkansas, certain events will automatically end the obligation to pay child support. Child support automatically ends when your child turns 18 and graduates from high school. If your child is still in high school at the age of 18, payments will continue until he turns 19. Further, you may stop paying child support if your child marries, dies or is declared emancipated by a court. A court may grant emancipation if the child is at least 17 years old, financially stable and lives separately from his parents. If you remarry your spouse and parent of the child, you no longer have to pay support. However, as in any cases where child support is terminated, you should be aware that you are still responsible for any missed payments. Additionally, the court has the authority to extend child support payments after the child is emancipated. Although not common, a court may extend payments when a child has disabilities and is unable to take care of himself after reaching 18.

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Termination Process

Although certain events automatically terminate child support, if your spouse has an income withholding order against you, you may have to take additional steps to stop your employer from withholding income from your paycheck. If you are up to date on your child support payments, you may stop income withholding by sending a notice of termination to the custodial parent, your employer, the Arkansas Office of Child Support Enforcement, clerk of the court, and the Arkansas Child Support Clearinghouse. The notice should be sent within 30 days of the date of termination and include your name and address, name and address of your employer, notice of impending termination of child support, date of termination, and basis for termination of income withholding. If you owe back child support, your employer may continue to withhold money from your paycheck until you have fulfilled your obligation.

Settlement Agreements

If you signed a settlement agreement as part of your divorce, you should first refer to this document before assuming that your obligation to pay support has ended. Settlement agreements in Arkansas do not have to end child support once the child graduates from high school and turns 18. For example, your settlement agreement may provide that support lasts through your child's college education. As a result, you must continue to pay child support for as long as your settlement agreement provides.

Multiple Children

If you have more than one child, your obligation to pay child support for each child may end at different times. If one of your children graduates from high school, either you, your ex-spouse or the Office of Child Support Enforcement may file a motion with the court to modify the child support order. Based on the change in circumstances, the court will likely lower the amount of support to account for the emancipated child.

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Can Child Support Be Rescinded if My Child Quits School?

References

Related articles

Does Child Support End When the Child Graduates From High School?

Graduation from high school may or may not end your obligation to pay child support. It depends on two main factors, the statutory requirements in the state the child resides and any contractual obligations you agreed to in writing, usually during a divorce proceeding. Generally, by the time a child graduates from high school, he becomes an adult in the eyes of the law, thereby terminating your duty to pay child support. But there are many exceptions to the general rule.

Can You Get Child Support Stopped at 18 if a Child Is in Secondary School?

Most states agree that your child has the right to finish secondary school without worrying about supporting himself just because his parents have divorced. Rules usually limit how long he can remain in high school, however, while you support him. State law varies with regard to what constitutes emancipation or the age of majority – the time when a child is legally considered an adult. In most jurisdictions, graduation is a pivotal factor.

How Soon Before Graduation Can You Terminate Child Support in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, parents are not required to pay for their children's college educations. As a result, high school graduation often marks the end of child support payments, but it depends on the child's age. The duty to pay child support in Pennsylvania ends when a child reaches age 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs last.

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