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When Do Your Child Support Obligations End in Virginia?

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In Virginia, child support obligations typically end when a child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occur later. However, there are certain circumstances in which child support may continue beyond these milestones. Here are some scenarios that would extend child support obligations:

Education expenses

Parents are still responsible for paying child support if the child is still attending high school on their 18th birthday and is reasonably expected to graduate by the age of 19.

Special needs

If the child has special needs and requires ongoing financial support due to physical or mental disabilities, child support may continue indefinitely or for an extended period as determined by the court.

Agreement between the parties

Parents can also agree to extend child support beyond the typical cutoff date if they both consent to it. Some parents, for example, choose to set an age where child support will cease. For example, on a child’s 25th birthday.

As for the child support amounts that parents must pay, parents can either agree to a certain amount, so long as the judge allows it, or they can follow Virginia’s child support formula, which exists to calculate the amount of child support that a child should receive considering a variety of factors, including:

  • The parents’ income
  • The custody arrangement
  • The child’s health needs
  • Potential disabilities

It is important to note that every situation is different and specific circumstances can impact the duration and amount of child support obligations.

The purpose of child support is to provide children with what they need to have a happy, healthy life.

jack t randall

Written By Jack T. Randall


As lifelong resident of Western Tidewater, Jack Randall is a local attorney who wants the best results for his clients. He is an experienced and aggressive attorney with focus on family law, criminal and traffic law, as well as personal injury law cases.