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Examining Missouri's child support termination guidelines

28076903_S.jpgChild support serves as an enormous benefit to those who retain custody of their children following a divorce in Springfield, helping to soften the financial blow left from no longer being able to rely on the income of their former spouses. Indeed, the fact that (according to information shared by the U.S. Census Bureau) $33.7 billion was paid out in child support in 2015 alone reinforces how great a need it is. Those obliged to pay it likely little quarrel with doing so (they too want to ensure that their kids have all they need). However, the fear that those receiving this benefit may try to abuse it is also ever-present. 

Because of this, the guidelines regarding to the termination of a child support agreement have been made very clear. According to Section 452.340 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, a child support obligation automatically terminates in any of the following scenarios: 

  • The supported child dies
  • The supported child marries
  • The supported child enters into military active duty
  • The supported child is otherwise able to become self-supporting 

A child support obligation will also typically end once the supported child reaches of the age of majority (18 years old). However, it can be extended beyond that time if the child is enrolled and actively progressing toward the completion of a secondary school program. In such a case, the obliged parent would continue to pay child support until the child either completes the program or reaches the age of 21 (whichever comes first). 

One might also be required to pay child support after their child turns 18 if said child suffers from physical and/or mental deficits that prevent them from supporting themselves. Support for such a child would also cease once they turn 21 (though it could be ordered to continue depending on the severity of the child's disabilities). 

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