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What happens when my child turns 18?

Child Support: What happens when my child turns 18?

Monday 17th of June 2019
By: Charlotte Geddes, Senior Associate & Accredited Family Law Specialist, Coote Family Lawyers

Elaine, your professionalism is outstanding and I am very grateful for your assistance during extremely stressful divorce proceedings.

The obligation to make child support payments generally terminates when a child turns 18.  In a time when children are living at home for longer, and often whilst completing a tertiary degree, this can be very difficult for the resident parent who suddenly has to meet the entirety of the financial costs for an 18 or 19 or 21 year old child.

Parents can agree to extend the payment of child support but if an agreement cannot be reached, a parent may need to make a Court application seeking payment of adult child maintenance, based, generally on tertiary education requirements and/or a disability.

The Court must be satisfied that the maintenance is “necessary”.  The child maintenance order will stop being in force once the child ceases the education or ceases to have the disability.

If there is a child support assessment in place through the Child Support Agency and a child turns 18 during their last year of school, that assessment can continue until the child completes that year of full-time schooling. The carer must however make an application to continue the assessment before the child turns 18.

Coote Family Lawyers are recognised as one of the top family law firms in Melbourne.  If you would like further advice please call 03 9804 0035 to speak with one of our Accredited Family Law Solicitors today.

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