San Jose Child Support Attorney Discusses the Duration of the Statutory Child Support Duty
Typically, the statutory duty to support a minor child terminates when the child reaches age 18. However, parents can agree to pay for the support of an adult child or for the continuation of child support after a child reaches age 18, subject to approval by the court. In the case of a “needy, incapacitated adult child,” both parents have an equal responsibility to support a child of whatever age who is unable to earn a living and is without sufficient means. This duty is joint and several and thus continues despite the other parent’s death.
For certain adult high school students, the statutory support obligation is extended. As to any unmarried 18-year old child who is a full-time high school student and not self-supporting, the parents’ statutory support duty continues until the child completes the 12th grade or reaches age 19, whichever occurs first. The only requirement for triggering this child support obligation is full-time high school attendance. The supported child is not required to demonstrate a good faith effort to graduate as soon as possible nor is the supported child required to participate only in those classes that push him or her towards graduation at the earliest possible date. It is also not necessary that the over-18 high school student physically live with the custodial parent and he or she need not provide monthly proof of his or her conditions for extended support including attendance at high school, not self-supporting, etc. This is because any risk that a child might abuse the support scheme by extending his or her high school education solely to continue receiving support is eliminated by the absolute support cut-off at age 19 as specified by statute.
If you or someone you know has questions about child support or other aspects of family law such as the divorce process, spousal support, or child custody and visitation, please contact Sagaria Law. Our team of family law attorneys can answer any such questions you may have and assist you through the process. We represent clients from Santa Clara County, Alameda County, Monterey County, San Mateo County, and surrounding areas. Contact our office today to schedule your free consultation to speak with one of our attorneys.