When Does Child Support End in Connecticut?: Important Factors and Timelines You Need to Know

  •   |   Meghan Freed

when does child support end in connecticutOne essential aspect for divorcing or separating parents to consider is child support and when it ends.  Connecticut law has specific guidelines and timelines regarding when child support payments cease.  This article will delve into the critical factors and timelines you need to know about CT child support.

Understanding the timing of child support termination is crucial for both custodial and non-custodial parents.  It affects financial planning and can impact the well-being of the children involved.  Factors like the child’s age and education play a significant role in determining when child support ends.

Additionally, we will explore the circumstances that may warrant an extension of child support beyond the typical termination age.  For instance, if the child has special needs or is pursuing higher education, additional considerations may exist.  You must clearly understand the legal framework to make the best decisions possible.

Stay tuned as we provide valuable insights into the timelines and factors determining when child support ends in Connecticut.

Factors That Can Affect the End of Child Support

Child support in Connecticut is typically determined based on guidelines set by the state.  These guidelines consider various factors, including the income of both parents, the number of children involved, and the custody arrangement.  Courts generally determine the duration of child support based on factors like the child’s age and educational status.

In Connecticut, child support typically ends when the child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 years old.  However, there are exceptions to this rule, and the court may extend child support beyond that age under certain circumstances.  It’s important to consult with a family law attorney to understand your specific situation and how the law applies to you.

Age-Based Timelines for Child Support Termination

While the child’s age is a significant factor in determining when child support ends, other factors can also come into play.  For example, if the child is still in high school at 18, child support may continue until they graduate or turn 19, whichever comes first.  Connecticut intends to ensure that children are supported throughout their high school education.


Emancipation is rare, but it’s another factor that can affect the end of child support.  It occurs when a child becomes financially independent and no longer relies on their parents for support.  If a child becomes emancipated before reaching the age of majority, child support may end earlier.  Emancipation can occur through various means, such as marriage, military service, or full-time employment.

Exceptions to the Child Support End Date

In Connecticut, child support typically ends when the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever comes later.  However, there are exceptions to this rule, including when a child has a disability or special needs.

Child Support and Adult Children with Special Needs (Intellectual, Mental, or Physical Disability)

 If the child has special physical or mental needs, child support may continue until age 26.  It’s important to note that in cases of disability, the court may require proof of the disability and its impact on the child’s ability to support themselves.

A few things you need to know about extended child support for an adult child with special needs:

  • First, the adult child must reside with a parent and be principally dependent on that parent.
  • Second, state statute defines an eligible intellectual, mental, or physical disability.
  • Finally, child support is only available through age 26 if the court entered the dissolution, legal separation, or annulment after October 1, 2023.  If the adult child’s parents were unmarried, the initial child support orders can’t predate October 1, 2023.

College and Higher Education

Connecticut family courts have the authority to mandate financial contributions from one or both parents towards the expenses of a child up to age 23, provided the child is a full-time student at a “post-secondary school,” such as college or a comparable educational program.

Changing or Modifying Child Support

It’s important to understand that child support orders can be modified if circumstances change significantly.  For example, if the custodial parent’s income significantly increases or decreases, or if the child’s needs change, a modification to the child support order may be necessary.  It’s crucial to consult with a family law attorney to navigate the process of modifying child support orders.

To request a modification to a child support order, the party seeking the modification must demonstrate a substantial change in circumstances that warrants a modification.  This can include changes in income, the child’s needs, or the custody arrangement.  The court will review the evidence presented and decide based on the child’s best interests.

Read: 5 Situations Where Modification of a Connecticut Child Support Order May Be Necessary

Process of Ending Child Support in Connecticut

When the time comes for child support to end, it’s essential to follow the proper process to ensure a smooth transition.  In Connecticut, child support orders typically include an end date or a provision that specifies when child support terminates.  Without a fixed end date, child support will continue according to the abovementioned rules.

That said, sometimes people pay child support automatically or via an income withholding, and it may not “turn off” automatically.  If you believe that child support should end based on the terms of the order or the child’s age, it’s advisable to consult with a family law attorney.  They may recommend you file a motion with the court to terminate child support.  If so, the court will review the motion and any supporting documentation to make a final determination.

Financial Obligations Beyond Child Support

While Connecticut intends that child support provide for a child’s basic needs, there may well be additional financial obligations beyond child support that parents need to consider.  For example, parents may contribute to the child’s healthcare, educational, or extracurricular expenses.

Next Steps

Freed Marcroft’s attorneys are well-versed in child support’s ins and outs.  Please reach out if you’d like to discuss our working together.

Freed Marcroft LLC

Freed Marcroft LLC