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Kevin O'Flaherty

In this article, we will answer questions about “At what age does child support end in Iowa?”, “What other circumstances can cause child support to end?”, and “What if my child receives support for college?”.

At What Age Does Child Support End in Iowa?

An obligation of child support continues for every child between the age of eighteen and nineteen provided that the child is engaged full-time in completing high school graduation or equivalency requirements and is reasonably expected to complete said requirements prior to the child reaching nineteen years of age.  The obligation may also include a child of any age that is deemed dependent on the party due to physical or mental disability.  However, a child support order does not necessarily end automatically when the child reaches the age of eighteen or nineteen.  The obligation may continue until the noncustodial parent files a legal petition to terminate the order, depending on the language in the order.  Consult an attorney to see if a “Motion to Terminate the Income Withholding Order” must be submitted with the Court before your support order can legally conclude.  For more information about about Child Support, see our article entitled Iowa Child Support Law Explained.

What Other Circumstances Can Cause Child Support to End?

A “substantial change in circumstances” can cause a child support order to be modified or ended.  Examples of this include: legal emancipation of the child, repudiation (meaning the child refuses to acknowledge the obligor as his or her parent), marriage of the supported child before the age of eighteen, disestablishment of paternity, or reduction of the noncustodial parent’s income to below the state’s poverty guidelines by no fault of the obligee.  Sometimes, extenuating circumstances can cause child support to be halted temporarily, such as during the modification or entry of a permanent child support order.  Exchanges in custody can also bring about the end of an obligation of child support.  You should speak with an attorney if you have questions about whether or not your child support order needs modification or has reached its completion.  You can also seek advice and services from the Iowa Child Support Recovery Unit (CSRU) if you need help ending a Child Support Order.  Click here for more information.

What if My Child Receives Support for College?

If you are obligated to provide a “post-secondary education subsidy” to help with certain college expenses, this will continue until the terms of the court order are met or the child drops out of school.  As stated above, you may need to file a legal petition to terminate the order.  This article is not meant to substitute for legal advice, so consult with an attorney about the details of your support order to determine how to proceed.  For more details about “postsecondary education subsidies,” see our article entitled Iowa Child Support and College Expenses.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this blog is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Each individual's legal needs are unique, and these materials may not be applicable to your legal situation. Always seek the advice of a competent attorney with any questions you may have regarding a legal issue. Do not disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.


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