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Are Children Over 18 Still Entitled to Parental Support?

 Posted on September 27, 2023 in Firm News

McKinney child support lawyerThe fact is that most people are not able to support themselves at the age of 18. The kinds of jobs that are available to people with only a high school diploma rarely pay a living wage. Even if an 18 year old would like to be self-sufficient, almost all still rely on their parents in some ways. If you are getting divorced in Texas or collecting child support for a teenage child, you may worry about whether your spouse will continue providing support to your child if it ceases to be legally mandatory. 

The good news for parents is that support obligations do not automatically terminate on the child’s eighteenth birthday, even though they are now legally an adult. A divorced parent can be held responsible for providing reasonable financial support to their child for several years or more after they reach their majority age or longer in certain circumstances. However, support obligations may need to be incorporated into your divorce decree before it is finalized. An attorney can help you see to it that any prudent continuing support obligations are addressed during your divorce. 

When Can a Parent be Ordered to Support a Legal Adult Child? 

Courts recognize that very, very few 18 year olds are able to live completely independently. Reasons your child may be able to continue receiving financial support after they turn 18 include: 

  • They are still in high school - Generally, state-mandatory child support does not terminate until the child graduates from high school. This is to ensure that all young people have the ability to finish high school without worrying that their parents will stop supporting them. Your former spouse can typically be ordered to pay child support until your child is done with high school, even if they were held back, missed time, or started late. 

  • They have a disability - If your child is disabled and will never be able to work and support themselves, child support can persist for long after a child becomes a legal adult. Disabled young adults generally still rely on their parents for care and support.

  • College expenses are agreed on - As a part of settling your divorce, parents can agree on how college expenses should be shared. This can essentially create a legal obligation for a parent to continue contributing financially while their child is a young adult still getting an education. 

These are generally the main reasons that a parent may be required to keep providing support after their child has reached legal adulthood. 

Contact a McKinney, TX Child Support Lawyer 

The Ramage Law Group can often help divorcing parents arrange for their ex-spouse to continue helping with their child’s expenses after the child turns 18. Our caring McKinney child support attorneys will do all we can to ensure that your child will be well-provided for as they enter early adulthood. Contact us at 972-562-9890 to arrange your introductory consultation. 


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