When Child Support May Be Extended Beyond Age 18

There are 2 circumstances that allow for child support to extend being age 18:

1. If the child is still in high school when he or she turns 18,and is living at home, child support must continue to be paid until the child graduates high school or turns 19 years of age, whichever occurs first; or

2. If the child suffers from a mental or physical incapacity that causes he or she to continue to be dependent financially on a parent or other caregiver.  The child must have incurred the incapacity prior to turning 18 and, importantly, a Supplemental Petition for Extension of Child Support must be filed prior to the child turning 18.  While earlier court decisions suggest that the incapacity must be "severe," later decisions award an extension of child support for situations such as where a child has a learning disability and is unable to work (become financially non-dependent) because he must devote so much extra time to his studies. An extension of child support was also granted where a child, after turning 18, continued to be treated by a mental health professional for stress suffered during his parents divorce and was not yet financially independent because of that.

Call or Email the Law Office of Summer R. Nichols today for your FREE consultation to discuss your rights and obligations regarding an extension of child support.