Contrary to common belief, child support doesn’t always end when a child turns 18. A surprising and little-known fact to most parents is that child support can actually be modified to extend well past the child’s high school graduation date. If you are the recipient of child support or you’re a child support paying parent, it may be beneficial to understand what factors can be considered when making a determination for adult child support.
As most of us understand, child support is a payment from one parent to another to bridge the disparity in income between the two. These payments can be used to cover the expenses related to a minor child’s basic needs, education, healthcare and even extracurricular activities. Although this obligation is meant to cover expenses of raising a child, it can extend on into adulthood.
Depending on your adult child’s post-graduation plans, a family court judge may order child support to continue during their college career. Unlike child support for a minor child’s expenses, which is paid to the custodial parent, adult child support is typically paid directly to the child. In addition, adult child support is typically a lesser amount than it was during their minor years.
Child support for adult children is usually ordered to cover expenses related to furthering education, healthcare and occasionally, housing. Parents of adult children that are disabled or unable to support themselves are typically ordered to continue child support until it is no longer necessary, such as when they become eligible for medical assistance.
Child support must be paid, regardless of a child’s age, until a family court judge orders it to end or makes a modification to it. Although child support for adult children is not necessarily a common occurrence, a family law attorney can help parents see that their adult child’s needs are met.