The two most common, main triggers for the termination of court-ordered child support in Utah are:
- when your child reaches majority at the age of 18 years and graduates from high school, with child support terminating upon the event that occurs last (See Utah Code § 78B-12-219(1))
- if and when a child becomes emancipated before age 18 if the child marries, becomes a member of the armed forces of the United States, or is emancipated by a legal action filed in court (Id.).
While child support can be ordered beyond the age of 18 and graduation from high school (until age 21, see Utah Code § 15-2-1), usually one has to prove a compelling reason for extending child support beyond age 18, such showing that the child has special needs and cannot independently support him- or herself financially.
Is it possible to terminate court-ordered child support obligations in Utah before a child turns 18 or emancipates? Not really, unless you are willing to relinquish your parental rights AND the other parent is willing to agree to that, AND you can persuade a court to allow termination of your parental rights and obligations.
And I know many of you have wondered about this, even if you’re afraid to admit it: if you think you’re in the clear if you managed to avoid paying child support until your child reaches the age of majority (i.e., 18 years), think again. Utah Code § 78B-5-202(6) provides that a child support order or a sum certain judgment for past due support may be enforced within four years after the date the youngest child reaches majority or eight years from the date of entry of the sum certain judgment. The longer period of duration applies in every order, and a sum certain judgment may be renewed to extend the duration of the order.
We should be more than happy to assist you with any of your child support questions and challenges. Please contact us to meet over lunch or in the office. 801-466-9277 | firstname.lastname@example.org