All states mandate parental support of their minor children, no matter the parent’s marital status. In most cases, both parents have the equal responsibility of supporting their children. However, while an equal duty exists, the amount of child support paid typically varies in proportion to the parent’s individual income.
In Texas, when the child is no longer a minor, the support obligations change.
What happens when the child is not a minor?
According to the Texas Family Code, when a person turns 18 in the state, he or she is no longer a minor. After reaching the age of majority, this individual will not receive any more mandated child support from either parent, unless a court-ordered obligation already exists.
The support obligation also ends if the child marries or graduates high school before turning 18.
What are exceptions to child support termination?
The main exception to child support terminating at 18 is support for disabled children. In Texas, support will continue indefinitely for an adult disabled child. To determine the amount of support, the court will look to factors such as the existing and future needs of the disabled adult child, programs and resources available to him or her and the financial resources of the parents.
Another exception in some states is post-secondary education support. However, in Texas, this legal obligation does not exist. In the absence of any court agreement, parents do not have the duty to support their children through college. They may elect to include post-secondary education or graduate school terms in their child support agreement.