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How long does child support continue?

Child support must be paid as long as a child remains dependent. A dependent child is any child under the age of 18, unless:

  • the child has married, or
  • the child is 16 years of age or over and has voluntarily withdrawn from parental control

Child support might also continue after a child turns 18 years of age if the child is unable to be self-supporting because he or she:

  • has a disability or illness, or
  • is still going to school full-time.

Even if the child is not living at home while going to school, as long as the child’s primary residence is with the parent with custody, the parent without custody might have to continue to pay child support. This usually continues until the child turns 22 years of age or gets one post-secondary degree or diploma.

In some circumstances, a judge might order support to continue even longer. When deciding how much support should be paid for a child who is 18 years of age or older, the judge will take into account any earnings or income the child receives from other sources.