When does child support end?

Pennsylvania child support as a general rule ends when the child turns 18, or when they graduate from high school, whichever is later. The court treats this general rule as a presumption that child support ends at that time. There are special circumstances that can potentially extend child support beyond the age of 18. If a child is physically or mentally disabled, then child support could potentially be extended for a longer period of time.

If the adult child is disabled to the extent that they would be incapable of employment by reason of their physical or mental disability, then they may be able to rebut the presumption of child support ending at age 18 or high school. The employment would also have to be available at a living wage. This is, however, a high standard to meet, because past Court decisions have held that unless they are unsuitable for any employment, then child support should not be extended. The disability must also stem from an injury that occurred before the age of 18 or high school graduation.

PA child support calculations look at various forms of income and expenses to determine by the child support guidelines how much each party is obligated to pay. However, the Court, or the support Officer, may deviate from the guidelines if high expenses or low income can be proven. For high income families (those with more than $30,000 per month in income) a separate calculation must be performed.

Support provides the means by which you can support yourself and your family. Alternatively, if you are paying too much in child support, you may be able to make a case to modify downward your payments. Contact our experienced Mercer County child support attorneys today to discuss your case!

Our office accepts Pennsylvania family law cases including divorce, equitable distribution, spousal support, alimony pendente lite, alimony, paternity and child support matters, child custody cases, juvenile law cases, and related matters in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Beaver County, Berks County, Butler County, Clearfield County, Washington County, Westmoreland County (Greensburg), Lawrence County (New Castle), and Mercer County. Our law firm accepts Pennsylvania family law cases from other Western Pennsylvania counties including Armstrong County (Kittanning) Clarion County, Fayette County, Greene County, Indiana County, Somerset County, and Venango County on a case-by-case basis.

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The statements in this section are based on Pennsylvania law and have been issued to inform and not advise. The statements are general in nature and individual facts in a given case may alter their application or involve other laws not referred to here.