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When Does Child Support Come to an End?

The common perception most people have regarding child support is that once the child turns 18, they no longer have to worry about child support payments. 

However, this isn’t necessarily true, as child support laws vary from region to region depending on the state in which you originally came to the agreement. In some cases, child support may not be discontinued until the child turns 21. Most child support payments will require the parent to continue to make payments until the child graduates high school, which also means that the child may be over 18 in such circumstances. 

Another factor that could influence when a child support arrangement comes to an end is whether the parent made a lump sum payment. Lump sum child support refers to a parent dropping one large lump sum to either get ahead on child support payments or to bring their responsibility for child support to an end altogether. However, lump sum child support is extremely risky because, unlike alimony arrangements, child support arrangements do not necessarily have the ability to be modified. 

In the end, it is up to a judge to choose whether or not to enforce a child support agreement after a lump sum is made. Therefore, a person paying a lump sum could wind up wasting a ton of money should they make a lump sum payment before getting approval from a judge. 

There are ways you can work with an attorney to get the terms of your child support agreement modified. Consult the skilled southern Maryland child support attorneys at Mudd, Mudd & Fitzgerald, P.A. for more information on this important family law issue.

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