A recent study showed that nearly half of the 26-year-olds in the U.S. were living with their parents. As the country finds its way out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, many adults struggle to make enough money to move out on their own. This can become a tricky issue if the child’s parents are divorced.
When attorneys plan child support scenarios in divorce legal software they generally assume child support ends at the age of majority, which is 18 in most states and 21 in a few. However there are cases where the non-custodial parent will be required to pay for adult children. If the child is still a minor then it is important to consider these scenarios when presenting settlement offers.
The most common reason for adult child support is college. Most states have statues that say support must continue if the child is enrolled as a full-time college student. However even in these cases there is often an age limit, typically 21 years of age, to prevent “professional students” from sponging off their parents for years. The situation of children going to college directly after high school is common so is easy to account for in divorce settlement software.
The other case where child support for adult children would be granted is if the child is disabled. In this scenario the court considers the economic impact of the disability. If the condition prevents the child from working in a self-supporting job, then the non-custodial parent may be required to keep paying support for the rest of the child’s life. This is an important consideration when using divorce planning software to evaluate different spousal and child support tradeoffs.
What if a child is disabled after becoming an adult and after the parents are divorced? The court might impose child support after the fact…or they might not. It’s a complex situation and divorce software for attorneys helps family law practices examine every possibility.
The situation is further complicated by the fact each state has its own support laws so it’s impossible to give general information that would apply to every divorce.
Attorneys have enough work just interpreting the many laws that govern adult child support in their own state without wrestling with the calculations as well. Use attorney practice management software to simplify and automate your family law practice so you can put your full attention on the law where it belongs.