When does child support end?

Under new law in Maryland effective October 1, 2002, if a child turns age 18 while still enrolled in high school, the child support obligation continues until either the child graduates from high school, or age 19, whichever is first. Otherwise, child support terminates when the child turns age 18.

For child support orders entered before the new law went into effect, one party must file a request with the Court in order to extend the child support obligation beyond age 18.

Although the law sets limits on the duration of child support, parents can agree to go beyond those limits in a Custody or Separation Agreement, such as by agreeing to contribute toward college education expenses. In such event, the Court will enforce the parties’ agreement to pay child support beyond what is legally required.