Myth: My child support obligations stop once my child turns 18 years old.
Busted: This is a very common myth and lawyers often need to talk to clients about various circumstances where their child support obligations may extend after their child turns 18. Let’s go through some of the common circumstances where child support may need to be paid longer than you think.
When a child has a long-term medical condition that prevents them from being financially independent, there may be an on-going child support obligation for an indefinite amount of time and is determined on a case-by-case basis.
As each child is different, so may be their long-term needs depending on their condition. It may be such that a child may take a little longer to achieve financial independence beyond when they turn 18, or it may be a more severe condition where a child will forever be reliant on the care of others and will never be able to be financially independent. Either of these circumstances may call for a longer period of support being paid after the child turns 18.
Obtaining Post-Secondary Education
Another situation where child support may extend beyond when children turn 18 is if the child is pursuing post-secondary education. Now, this is a trickier one to summarize as there are many different factors to consider such as: Where does the child plan to attend school? Is it a full-time or part time program? How long is the program? Where are they going to be residing while going to school? What are the expectations around the child’s contributions to their schooling expenses? Are they taking a gap-year post-high school before enrolling in post-secondary?
All these questions and more are factors to consider when determining what a parent’s child support obligation will look like after their child turns 18.
For more information about child support, or if you have questions about your own obligations, feel free to contact our office to arrange a consult meeting.
By Alyssa Bird
If you have questions about this post or child support in general, contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org.