How Long Must Parents Support Their Children?
Child support payments in Florida must continue until the child(ren) reaches 18 years of age unless the court orders otherwise. At that point, it automatically terminates because the child has reached the Florida age of majority and is no longer considered a child. There can be an extension to 19 years old if the child will graduate high school by that time. If your child support payments are in arrears, you will still have to continue paying until you bring the account current.
The child’s biological parents or adoptive parents must support a child until:
- the child reaches the age of majority (and sometimes longer if the child has special needs or is dependent)
- the child is on active military duty
- the parents' rights and responsibilities are terminated (for example, when a child is adopted or if the parents rights are terminated through a dependency action), or
- the child has been declared emancipated by a court. (When a minor has demonstrated freedom from parental control and/or support and an ability to be self-sufficient/supporting, such as has gotten married.)