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How long does child support last in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Child Support

Parents in Tennessee have certain responsibilities under the law. They generally need to cooperate to meet the basic needs of their children. If they divorce or break up, they typically need a plan to share time with their children and to divide responsibility for their support meetings.

The Tennessee family courts frequently order one parent to pay child support to the other as a way of ensuring an appropriate standard of living for the children. Child support can make budgeting more challenging for the parent ordered to pay but can also have a major financial impact on the parent receiving payments.

How long can someone generally expect child support orders to last in Tennessee?

Support doesn’t always end when a child turns 18

Parents frequently assume that child support obligations only last while a child is a minor. Some people expect child support to terminate immediately when a teenager turns 18. However, that is not necessarily what happens.

There are a few scenarios in which child support payments may continue after a child turns 18. The first is when their birthday occurs before they finish high school. Child support may continue until a student finally graduates, provided they remain enrolled in high school full-time. In many cases, the end of secondary education marks the end of child support. Even if the young adult goes on to college, child support may end with their high school enrollment in most cases.

If the child has special needs, that could potentially affect child support obligations. Occasionally, the Tennessee family courts may consider the child’s medical condition and dependence upon parents when determining if continued support is appropriate for a family. Additionally, parents can potentially seek adjustments and reductions to child support orders when their economic circumstances or living arrangements change.

Parents who are familiar with the rules that govern child support matters in Tennessee may have an easier time navigating the family law system. Discussing a family’s circumstances with a legal team can help someone better evaluate what child support terms might be appropriate in their circumstances.

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