When Does My Florida Child Support Order End?
Florida Statute 61.13(1)(a) provides that Florida child support orders terminate when a child turns 18 years of age. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. In some situations, a child support order will end prior to a child’s 18th birthday, such as if the child gets married before age 18, or a court emancipates the child prior to age 18. In other cases, parents may agree to extend child support payments beyond the child’s 18th birthday. Furthermore, there are some circumstances in which a court will order a parent to continue paying child support for an extended period of time. A skilled Fort Lauderdale child support attorney knows Florida law regarding the termination and extension of child support and can give you that advice that you need about your child support case.
Extending Child Support Orders to High School Graduation
In the state of Florida, a court can extend a child support order beyond a child’s 18th birthday if the child is still attending high school. Pursuant to Florida Statute 743.07, a child qualifies for continued child support if he or she meets the statutory definition of dependent. In order for support to extend beyond the child’s 18th birthday, the child must be dependent on a parent and between the ages of 18 and 19. Furthermore, the child still must be attending high school in good faith, with the reasonable expectation that he or she will graduate from high school before reaching the age of 19. If this is the situation, then the child support order will stop on the date of the child’s high school graduation.
Continuing Child Support Orders Due to Physical or Mental Incapacity
A parent can seek continued child support for a child who is older than age 18 if the child is physically or mentally incapacitated and still dependent on the parent. However, the child’s incapacity must have begun prior to the child reaching 18 years of age. Typically, the parent must request the extension of child support prior to the child reaching the age of 18. If a child is permanently incapacitated throughout his or her adult life, then parents may be responsible for providing financial support for the child for the duration of his or her life. For this occur, the child’s incapacity must be fairly severe. In other words, the child must be incapacitated to the point that he or she must remain dependent on a parent or guardian, in that he or she is unable to live independently and support himself or herself.
Here to Assist You With All of Your Family Law Needs
The Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC, stands ready to help you with legal issues related to your child support orders, as well as any other divorce or family law-related issues, whether they involve child custody, visitation, paternity, divorce, or property division. We have years of experience handling Florida child support cases and know what options are available to you in your particular situation. Contact your Florida child support attorney today at 954-800-2362, or fill out the online form located on our website.