If you have been ordered by a Pennsylvania court to pay child support, you may wonder how long you will have to pay. It can sometimes be difficult to make your payments and put a financial strain on you, so it is understandable that you want to plan for when your support order ends. When a court makes a child support order, it may includes an end date. Otherwise, you have to follow the general laws.
According to the Department of Human Services, you are expected to provide financial support in most cases until your child is 18 years old. However, there are many exceptions which may apply in your case. For example, if your child has a disability or debilitating medical condition, you may be required to continue paying support long after he or she turns 18. In addition, if your child has not yet graduated high school when he or she reaches age 18, support is usually continued.
If your support order did not specifically state when the support payments were to end, then you would have to submit a petition to end the support payments to the court. The court will have to make a ruling before you can stop paying. This is important because if you do not pay your support, you will end up in arrears.
Any child support in arrears must be paid until it is completely paid off. This means that if you have fallen behind, you may have to continue paying even after your child turns 18 or your support obligation period has otherwise ended. This information is for education and is not legal advice.