When Does Child Support End In Tampa, FL?
Divorcing parents are generally aware that they must make child support payments to the spouse who has the children for the majority of the time. Fewer, however, are aware of how long those child support payments last. In this article, a Tampa, FL child support lawyer will discuss how long child support lasts in Florida.
Payment will last until the child reaches majority age (18)
Generally speaking, a parent is required to pay child support until the child reaches the majority age of 18. This, however, is not always the case. In Florida, a parent may be required to pay child support until the child graduates from high school. If the child does not graduate from high school by their 18th birthday, the Florida courts can require continued child support payments. Child support may also continue when the child has special needs. In addition, parents can make an agreement to pay child support after the child has reached the age of 18. A Tampa, FL family lawyer can help you determine what your obligation will be based on your unique circumstances.
The child has not finished high school by their 18th birthday
Parents of children who have not finished high school by their 18th birthday are required to pay support until the child completes their high school education so long as they have a reasonable expectation of graduating on time. Proving a “reasonable expectation” is often imperative to proving this exception. The parent would have to prove that the child is enrolled in school, that they have been regularly attending, and that they will meet the requirements for graduation. Under the Florida statute, a child who dropped out of high school at 17, or is several years away from graduating would not be entitled to receive child support from the parent.
Child support could continue indefinitely if the child has a physical or mental disability
Child support can continue indefinitely when the child has a physical or mental handicap that prevents them from working. Courts will look at whether or not the child will ever be able to earn a living wage to support themselves on their own.
The disability must have begun before the age of majority or 18 years of age. It doesn’t matter if the child was born with the disability or if they acquired it before they reached the age of 18. The parent that is asking for continued child support beyond the child’s 18th birthday, is required to file a request with the family law court before the child turns 18.
Voluntary agreements to continue child support
If both parents agree to provide for the child beyond their 18th birthday, the courts will enforce the agreement as it is written. However, there is no obligation to do this, and most parents prefer less formal arrangements than those mandated by the court.
Talk to a Tampa, FL Family Lawyer Today
Faulkner Law Group, PLLC represents the interests of those who are seeking child support in Tampa, FL. Call our office today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin addressing your concerns right away.