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Emancipation and Termination of Child Support

How to Terminate Child Support In Missouri

In Kansas, most child support orders have a specific or calculated date when the parent’s support obligation terminates. However, in Missouri, it is much more open-ended. Many states allow for child support payments to end as soon as a child turns 18. However, according to Missouri law, children will continue to receive support payments until they turn 21 or finish their education, whichever comes first. There are ways to terminate child support payments before a child turns 21, but it requires action on the part of the parent. Failure to do so means that the family support payment center in charge of collecting your child support payments will assume you should continue making payments until the child turns 21.

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Need help with the emancipation of child support in Missouri? Reach out to our team at Pingel Family Law today by calling (816) 208-8130.

When Can You Stop Child Support In Missouri?

The age at which child support ends is referred to as the “age of emancipation.” In Missouri, you will be expected to continue making child support payments until the child turns 21 unless one of the following instances occurs before then:

  • The child dies
  • The child gets married
  • The child enters into active duty in the military
  • The child becomes self-supporting and the custodial parent (primary caregiver) releases the child from parental control
  • The child turns 18 and has not graduated from high school or completed a GED program and is no longer attending school
  • The child turns 18 and has graduated from high school or completed a GED program but is not enrolled in a vocational or higher education program
  • The child turns 18 and although enrolled in a vocational or higher education program, has not achieved grades sufficient to re-enroll, or has not taken sufficient credit hours
  • The child turns 18 and although enrolled in a vocational or higher education program, received failing grades in half or more of their course load
  • The child turns 18 and although enrolled in a vocational or higher education program, has failed to provide documentation of their grades upon request of the non-custodial parent
  • The child is physically or mentally disabled and unable to support themselves and the child’s circumstances don’t dictate that support should continue

If any of the above situations are true, you may have legal grounds for terminating your child support payments before your child turns 21. You can read more about reasons for termination of child support on the Missouri Court’s website.

How Do I Stop Child Support In Missouri?

If you believe that you have grounds for child support emancipation, you must take the following steps to ensure your child support order is terminated:

Filing an Affidavit for Termination of Child Support

You or your attorney must send a letter to the local Family Support Division (FSD) office explaining how your child meets the criteria for terminating child support payments. You will need to include specific details including:

  • The names of all parties involved (your name, the other parent’s name, and the child’s name)
  • Your case or IV-D number or social security number
  • Your phone number and address

You should also include a statement that any payments being made after the stated date will be considered to be made under protest.

The Review Process

Once your form has been submitted, the FSD will review your affidavit and determine whether or not to grant your request. The other parent will also be given 30 days after receiving notice of the termination request to request a hearing. If a hearing is scheduled, it will likely take place several months after the notice was filed. You can read more about the hearing process on the Missouri Bar website.

Termination of Child Support FAQ

Does Child Support Automatically Stop At 18 In Missouri?

No! This is why it’s important that you speak to one of our child support attorneystoday about your situation. Unless you file a motion to have your child support payments terminated, you will be expected to continue paying child support until your child turns 21. Failure to do so could result in you being penalized or even facing criminal charges.

How Pingel Family Law Can Help

Our team has been handling emancipation and child support cases for years and have over 40 years of combined experience. For a detailed discussion about the specific circumstances of your situation and the needs of your child, please contact Pingel Family Law at (816) 208-8130for a consultation and detailed case assessment today. Similarly if you are subject to an order of child support and you want to seek the termination of that order, contact our office to discuss and plan for the circumstances of your needs and situation. 

Need help filing for child support emancipation and termination? We’re here for you. Call the team at Pingel Family Law today or contact us online.


"I have known Attorney Pingel for more than fifteen (15) years. Mandee is a lawyer I consider a respected colleague. She has a reputation for being intelligent, knowledgeable about the law, well-prepared and kind."

- A Lawyer in Liberty, Missouri