When Does Child Support Obligation End In SC?

Parents love their children and feel a sense of responsibility to provide for them financially. When parents live apart and share the responsibility of providing for a child they share, each of the parents is required to contribute to the support of the child. This includes things like providing the child with a safe place to live, food, clothing and other support. Because the child usually primarily resides with one parent, the other parent is responsible for proving more financial support in the form of child support.

The South Carolina family court will issue a child support order, which compels a parent to provide the other parent with a certain amount of child support on a regular basis. The amount of child support paid can be modified up or down, if there is a good reason for the amount of child support due needs to be modified, and at some point, a child support obligation will terminate.

When Can A Child Support Obligation Be Terminated?

There are several scenarios under which a child support obligation can be terminated in South Carolina, which are laid out in South Carolina Code, 63-3-530(17).

The Child Becomes Emancipated

A child support obligation can be terminated if the child becomes emancipated, meaning that the child gets some of the legal freedoms that adults have. The parent must provide proof of the child’s emancipation. The following includes the eligibility requirements for emancipation:

  • The child reaches 18 years of age, unless the child is still in high school, or has special needs. A parent can prove emancipation due to the child reaching the age of 18 by providing a copy of the child’s birth certificate.
    • When the child is still in high school, but over the age of 18, a child support obligation still stands until the child graduates high school or the end of the school year after the child turns 19 years old, whichever is later.
    • If the child has special needs due to physical or mental disabilities, the child support obligation may continue to exist until the disabilities resolve themselves.
  • The child becomes married. When a child becomes married before he or she is 18 years old, the child must have the parents’ consent to marry, and thus become emancipated. It is presumed that the child’s spouse will help provide them with support and that the child will take steps to also be self-supporting. A parent can prove emancipation due to the child becoming married by providing a copy of the child’s marriage certificate.
  • The child becomes able to support him or herself. The court generally will assist in making a determination whether a child is self-supporting and thus whether the parent can cease his or her child support obligation.

Custodial Parent Files a Motion and Order to Dismiss Support

Sometimes parents of a child reconcile their differences and decide that they want to raise their child together. In which case, the custodial parent can request that the family court dismiss the child support order. The child support obligation will no longer need to be paid unless the payor owes money to the state for other public assistance, such as Medicaid or welfare support.

Contacting a Charleston Child Support Lawyer

If you need to request a modification of your child support obligation, or you have questions about whether you are still obligated to pay child support, please contact the experienced Charleston family lawyers at Sarji Law Firm, LLC today. Our team of lawyers are well-versed in the area of child support, so please get in touch with us by calling 843-323-4341.