In matters of child support, many parents believe that there is a fixed rule on when payments should end. Most think that once the child reaches the age of 18, the support stops. However, there are certain exceptions to this rule depending on the state and the judges who rule over the case. For some, support does stop at 18, but others may stop at 19 or 21 depending on the circumstances of the child.
Some states allow for post-secondary educational support when a child goes to college or attends a university. There are some states that don’t allow for post-secondary educational support and it is important to speak with a lawyer to determine if you may have to pay past your child’s 18th birthday.
In Florida, support after the age of 18 is granted for numerous reasons. These include:
- If a child is still a dependent, between 18 and 19 years of age, still in high school, and are performing in good faith and set to graduate
- If a child has a mental or physical disability
There is no fixed rule in Florida that would forbid a child support order from requiring payments until a child is 21 if it’s supporting the college education. The courts in Florida may look for evidence of dependency if a child is in college, but they won’t declare attendance in college definitive proof of dependency. If a child is turning 19 before they graduate from high school, they may not receive support during the eighteenth year.
If you are unsure of whether or not you need to pay for child support, contact our firm. Our Tampa child support attorneys at Givens Givens Sparks can help you better understand your situations, as well as the requirements regarding child support. This is a difficult area of law and having strong legal counsel on your side can be very beneficial.