Does My Child Support Garnishment Automatically Terminate Once My Child Turns 18?


Many child support obligors wonder whether their wages will automatically stop being garnished once their child turns 18. Well, it’s not as simple as that. The obligation to pay child support pursuant to a Court Order or Judgment continues until the child turns age 18 if the child is no longer attending high school as a full time student, until age 19 while still in high school full time, until completion of 12th grade while older than 18 but younger than 19, or if the child marries or becomes self-supporting (emancipated) before reaching the age of majority. A disabled adult child is entitled to child support beyond this period. (Fam.Code, §§ 3901.)

Even if any of the above conditions are met, the child support wage garnishment will not automatically terminate. Child support obligors whose earnings are being garnished through wage assignment do not automatically stop when a child attains the age of majority. The obligor must obtain a court order to stop the wages from being automatically paid to the other parent. This can be done by agreement with the other parent otherwise called a stipulation and order. If an agreement cannot be reached, then the obligor will have to file an Order to Show Cause, set a hearing, and request that the Court terminate Child Support and vacate the wage assignment order. The obligor will then have to request a new wage assignment order for zero to be issued by the Court. The obligor must be current in his child support obligations to get this.

Please note that this article is not legal advice and is not intended as legal advice. The article is intended to provide only general, non-specific legal information. This article is not intended to cover all the issues related to the topic discussed. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. This article does not create any attorney-client relationship between you and the Law Offices of Kenneth U. Reyes, P.C. This article is not a solicitation.

Attorney Kenneth Ursua Reyes was President of the Philippine American Bar Association for 2005. He is a member of both the Family law section and Immigration law section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Mr. Reyes is a Certified Family Law Specialist. He is a graduate of Southwestern University Law School in Los Angeles and California State University, San Bernardino School of Business Administration. He has extensive former CPA experience prior to law practice. LAW OFFICES OF KENNETH REYES, P.C. is located at 3699 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA, 90010. Tel. (213) 388-1611 or e-mail; visit at

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