Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer

Child Support in Florida for Children Over 18

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Florida child support proceedings help to ensure parents have the resources necessary to provide for the many expenses often involved in successfully raising children. Ask any parent though and they will tell you that these expenses are not just limited to childhood, but can actually increase the older your child gets. While child support orders generally terminate when your son or daughter turns 18, there are situations in which these payments may be extended.

Children Support Laws Regarding Older Child

When you have obtained an order for child support through the Florida court system, it will generally have a specific end date attached. Under Section 61.13 of the Florida Statutes, laws pertaining to the length of child support payments include the following:

  • Child support will generally terminate automatically on the month, date, and year of the child’s 18th birthday.
  • If they have not graduated high school, payments may extend to the age of 19.
  • If you have multiple children being provided with support under the same order, the total amount will decrease as each one turns 18.
  • In cases in which a child support payment end date is not specified or there are significant changes in the situation of one or both parents, it may be necessary to go back to court to modify the amount.

There are situations in which a child support order may be extended, even once your child becomes a legal adult. If, prior to turning 18, they suffer a mental or physical impairment that renders them dependent or unable to fully provide or support themselves, child support may be extended indefinitely. Otherwise, any additional costs and expenses that are to be provided for an adult child should be negotiated through a separate agreement.

Tools For Decreasing Divorce Related Stress

Right at the time child support is ending, parent’s are often left to deal with the extraordinary expense of helping their child afford a college education. According to College Data, the average costs associated with a public, in-state college in 2016 was $24,610 per year, while private schools run as much as $50,000 or more. Can a child support order help in offsetting any of these costs? Unfortunately, the answer is no, but you may be able to negotiate a separate agreement with the other parent, in addition to any other orders granted by the court.

Depending on the individual assets of each parent and the proven abilities of the child, an agreement may be made in which both parents agree to pay a portion of any college related costs, such as:

  • Tuition;
  • Housing;
  • Meal plans;
  • School books and other supplies;
  • Transportation costs;
  • Miscellaneous school expenses, such as lab fees or the cost of studying abroad

To discuss whether this might be an option in your situation, contact the law offices of Vanessa L. Prieto today. Our Fort Lauderdale divorce and child support attorney can help to ensure your child’s future needs are provided for, and may be able to negotiate an agreement concerning college costs on their behalf. Call or contact us online today to request a free consultation to discuss your case.

Resource:

collegedata.com/cs/content/content_payarticle_tmpl.jhtml?articleId=10064