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Child Support Beyond the Age of Majority

Divorced parents — like all parents — share the obligation to provide education, food, clothing, medical care and housing for their children until they reach emancipation. In some cases, the need to support a child financially stretches beyond the age of 18. If your child is over 18 but remains financially dependent, you and your child’s second parent continue to share the obligation to support.

Child is over 18 but has not graduated from high school

Florida law stipulates that the parents’ obligation to support extends until the child has a high school degree. If the child is over 18 but is living at home and a full time student, both parents must continue to provide financial support. If the child is over 18 and has not graduated due to a period of incarceration or substance abuse rehabilitation, the obligation to support continues as long as necessary to socially reintegrate the child.

Child is ill, injured or disabled

A child who suffers from physical or mental illness or disability of either nature is considered dependent by law. The obligation to continue support applies as long as the onset of the illness, injury or disability occurs prior to the child’s 18th birthday.

Child is developmentally delayed or has other special needs

A child with special needs may be dependent on the parents for life. If this is the case, the parents share an obligation to provide for the child’s needs — including medical, psychological, physical, occupational and educational needs.

If there is a dispute between the parents as to the amount of financial support each must provide, a judge can review the individual case and issue a court order. If the parents are divorced and have a court-ordered child support agreement, one parent can seek a modification in order to have payments continue beyond the child’s 18th birthday.

A Boca Raton family law attorney is available to represent you and advocate for all of your family’s needs.

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