When does child support end in Minnesota?

On Behalf of | May 21, 2024 | Family Law

When parents get divorced, one parent may be ordered to pay child support to the other. This could happen in a case where one parent will be spending the majority of their time raising the child and, therefore, incurring the majority of child-rearing expenses (including, but not limited to, food, clothing, housing, health care, child care and school sports, activities and tuition). It can also happen when there is a large discrepancy between what each parent earns.

In short, it’s expensive to raise children, and child-support orders attempt to keep both parents financially involved. But how long will that order last?

In most cases, child support terminates when the parties’ child graduates from high school or turns 18, whichever occurs later. For example, a child who is held back in school may not graduate high school until they are 19, so the support payments continue until they do. Most child support does not continue beyond a child’s 20th birthday.

But these typical markers don’t always apply. In some cases, a child may have a mental or physical condition that prevents them from ever being able to support themselves. In such cases, courts may order indefinite child support payments.

Finally, despite state statutes that impose certain support parameters, parents are always able to negotiate and stipulate to their own agreements that are unique to their own families, for example, extending child support through college graduation rather than high school or increasing the amount of support paid.

If you are going through a divorce or navigating your post-divorce life, it’s important to understand all of your legal rights, obligations and options, not to mention what to do if a dispute arises. Questions? Call attorney Dave Meier at 651-315-8856.