How Long Do You Have to Pay Child Support?

Minor children face different types of difficulties after a divorce or separation of their parents. Financial problems are a major problem because minors are financially dependent on their parents most of the time.

That is why, after the separation or divorce, the court orders that the parents have to fulfill the obligation by making payment which is called child support in terms of Canadian law. It is basically for fulfilling the basic human needs of the children.

But when does child support ends in Canada?Do you need to pay child support once the child has grown up? Well, it depends on many factors and varies by province. Let’s know in detail.

How Long Do You Have to Pay Child Support?

According to the child support law of Canada, you have to pay child support as long as your child is dependent. Here, the dependent refers to your child turning 18 or sometimes more than that. It may end before this if the child gets married, dies, or for other reasons.

Here are some factors that determine the longevity of paying child support.


According to Canadian law, child support ends when the children reach the age of maturity. It refers to the age when an individual is no longer a minor and can make all legal decisions on behalf of their own. 

However, the age of maturity varies by province. In most provinces, it is when the child reaches 18 years old or completes undergraduates, whichever comes first. On the other hand, this can be 21 years old in some areas. So, check out the child support law of your province and make sure the age of maturity of your child.


Emancipation refers to a legal process by which a minor can be self-supporting and financially independent. A minor may be legally emancipated before reaching 18 if they get married, leave home, becomes financially independent, joins the military, gets a job, etc.

In these circumstances, the parent who pays child support will no longer be obliged to pay child support.

College Support:

In some provinces, child support law allows continue getting child support even after the age of majority for education purposes. For instance, a parent has to pay child support for attending colleges, universities, or other post-secondary educational institutions.

If the law of a province doesn’t allow college support, the custodial parent can include it in the child support agreement. Actually, it is tough to continue education if someone doesn’t have enough financial support.

Support for Special Needs:

In some cases, child support may need to extend even after 18 years old because of the special needs of the children. For instance, a child may be physically or mentally disabled, which prevents the child from being self-supporting.

Besides, sometimes some children need extra medical costs. You may need to pay child support beyond 18 years old in these circumstances.

Child Support Agreement:

The Child Support Agreement is a legal agreement regarding child support between the parents in the child’s best interest.

Important matters like how long you have to pay child support, how much you have to pay as child support, college support, emancipation, etc., are included in this agreement. So, if you include here when the child support payment ends, you have to pay the child support according to the contract.

Can I stop child support in Canada?

Child support payment is not stopped automatically. The parent paying this needs to apply to the court for the termination of the child support payment.

Here that parent will be allowed to apply for this termination only when the child reaches the age of maturity, gets married, passes away, completes graduation, or becomes emancipated.

If you want to make sure whether your obligation to pay child support is ended or not, you can contact the child support agency in your province. Besides, you can also consult with your family lawyer to know that.


Figuring out how long you have to pay child support is sometimes critical. The law of each province binds the court. For this reason, first, you should check out the child custody law of your province when you are determining the obligation to pay child support. 

Here, we have given all the detailed information and factors to determine it. Surely, this information will help you solve this type of child support matter.

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