Terminate Child Support in Hanover with Our Help

Under Massachusetts law, outside of situations where the unique circumstances of the child require otherwise, the obligation for a parent to continue providing child support ends when any of the following occurs:

  • If the child stops living with the parent who receives child support. 
  • If the child begins living with the parent who pays the child support. 
  • When the child is no longer financially dependent upon either of their parents. 

In general, child support continues until the child has reached 18 years old. In some instances, the court may require that payments continue until the child has reached the age of 21, when the child lives with a parent and is principally dependent upon that parent for support. When a child is enrolled full time in a university, college, or post-secondary education program, the requirement of providing support may last until 23 years old. For children with a mental or physical condition that makes them dependent upon their parents, the non-custodial parent may be required to pay child support indefinitely, depending upon the needs and special requirements of the individual child. 

Child Support in Massachusetts Ends Under Certain Circumstances

When a child stops living with the parent receiving support, or the child is no longer financially dependent, child support may be terminated. Child support can also be terminated through the mutual agreement of the parents. If both parents agree that one parent no longer needs to pay child support, they can submit this mutual agreement to the courts to end the obligations of the paying parent. 

To end child support prior to the child’s reaching the age of maturity or meeting other conditions we’ve explored herein, the parents can bring their agreement to the court. The agreement can be presented to a family court, and a modification can be requested from the judge. Generally the court will determine what is in the best interests of the child, and rule accordingly. 

If you desire to end child support, but your spouse does not agree, it is still possible to petition the court for the termination or modification of your child support obligations. The most effective way to ensure that your children’s rights and your benefits are protected is by working with an experienced Hanover divorce lawyer. 

When a parent is unwilling to provide the child support they have been ordered to in a divorce decree, Massachusetts Child Support Services may be taken advantage of to provide for the garnishment of wages and other income, and the application of penalties, in support of ensuring the recipient parent receives the child support the courts have ordered they receive. 

The “Opt Out” Option for Terminating Massachusetts Child Support Services 

A custodial parent or caretaker is able to ask the state of Massachusetts to cease providing full child support services on your case. This is generally referred to as “opting-out”. The termination of full child support services means that the Department of Child Support Enforcement (CSE) will no longer:

  • Monitor your receipt of payments
  • Maintain records concerning any past-due support or other amounts owed by the paying parent 
  • Keep track of the other parent’s employer to make sure that any new employers withhold the appropriate amount of child support
  • Make sure that an employer or healthcare provider complies with any court orders concerning the requirement of health care coverage, and the courts will also stop 
  • Taking any action to enforce compliance with a child or medical support order, including increasing the amount of income withholding by 25 percent, seizing bank accounts, intercepting state and federal income tax refunds, intercepting insurance claims, suspending driver’s and professional licenses and motor vehicle registrations, or referring the U.S. Department of State to deny the issuance or renewal of a passport

Wen full child support services are terminated with the state of Massachusetts, the state proceeds to: 

  • Request the reinstatement of any licenses that were suspended as a result of a failure to pay child support 
  • Release all liens that they recorded against a parent’s property in order to enforce collection 

The decision to terminate full child support services can be for a variety of reasons, whether to decrease the burden on your ex-spouse, or because of a significant change in circumstances. It is important to understand that you are able to reapply for services at any time by submitting a new application for services. 

Whether or not you require the assistance of Child Support Services from the state will depend on the willingness of your ex-spouse to follow child support orders and the decrees of the court. An effectively negotiated child support agreement will provide for future terms that will allow for the termination of support, and your experienced and dedicated Hanover child support lawyer from O’Connor Family Law can draft an agreement that contemplates such situations to keep the courts out of it.   

Turning the Page on Financial Obligations? Determine What’s Legal, Learn Your Options

Child support can be a significant cost and drain on your available financial resources, and if your ex-spouses circumstances have changed and you believe a shift in or termination of your child support obligations is in order, it is important to file immediately. Delays in applying for changes to alimony or child support can result in longer term costs linked to your obligations. If you and your ex-spouse agree on the termination of child support, or a modification, then the matter is as simple as drafting a mutually acceptable agreement between the parents and filing. 

To consider your best options with an experienced Hanover child support lawyer, connect with O’Connor Family Law online or give us a call during business hours at 774-703-3755.