Does child support end when the kid turns 18?

Most people involved in child support believe that it ends as soon as the child turns 18 years old. While it is certainly true in many cases, there are some instances in which child support continues after a child reaches 18.

The following are the three most common situations that child support continues after the child reaches the age of 18:

  • The 18 year old child is a high school student. According to Family Code section 3901, child support continues to be payable if the unmarried child is still a full-time high school student and is not self-supporting. However, if the child completes the 12th grade, drops out of high school, or becomes 19 years of age, child support is terminated immediately.
  • The child is disabled. According to Family Code section 3910, it states that a court can continue to order child support for a child who is 18 years of age and is disabled or cannot otherwise support his or herself. It is important to be aware of Family Code section 4057 that explicitly allows for deviations from child support guidelines if there are “special medical or other needs” which entail expensive therapy or medication.
  • Both parties agree to extend the support. According to Family Code section 3587, the parties can agree to continue child support beyond the age of majority established in the Family Code. For example, both parties can agree to extend child support to pay for college tuition and college-related expenses, such as books and rent payments for an apartment.

While most parents do not expect to keep supporting their children once they become adults, there are some circumstances outside a parent’s control which may make it necessary to do so. If you wish to modify your child support in Newport Beach, CA, contact Burch Shepard Family Law Group and request a consultation today.