Child Support Past 18: When It Applies to Your Unique Situation

Many people don’t talk about child support past 18. This is because, once a child turns 18, many people are under the impression that child support automatically comes to an end. In some states, you can stop making child support payments immediately after a child turns 18 – and in other states, you have to file an application with the courts to end it. The courts want to always be aware of the circumstances in a parent and child’s life before they make a decision on what is in the best interests of the child. Is child support past 18 a real thing? When does it apply?

When a Child Receives Support Past 18 

Many states use 18 as the age of majority because they believe a child will be able to support themselves at this age since they have probably graduated college and have worked themselves. The courts, however, are legally permitted to have a parent pay past the child’s age of 18 in certain situations. This depends on many aspects, including the following:

  • The child’s living situation
  • Whether or not the child is still dependent on their parents for specific reasons
  • The child’s academic situation
  • Resources the child has been given

Here are some unique scenarios that you may come into contact with: One parent is responsible for helping the child pay for their college, but they don’t believe that it is fair that the other parent is not helping with these costs. Depending on the circumstances, the court could order the other parent to help with the costs of college. In other cases, a child may need child support past 18 when they are disabled and two parents must work together to support the child with their disability.

As you can see, the end of child support is not always instant. This is why it is important to speak to your attorney today about how you can move forward when you have a child support order and one of these unique scenarios. Call us today for more information on how we can help.