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Child Support After 18: Everything You Need to Know About Adult Child Maintenance

child support after 18 | Justice Family Lawyers

Child support after 18 is possible in Australia. Remember that although payments typically end when the child turns 18, there are circumstances in which child support may continue beyond that age. This is known as adult child maintenance.

Adult child maintenance is a type of financial support that can be ordered by the court for children who are unable to support themselves due to:

  • Continuing education: If the child is still pursuing secondary or university education, they may be eligible for adult child maintenance to cover their expenses.
  • Disability: If the child has a physical or mental disability that prevents them from earning an income, they may be eligible for adult child maintenance to meet their basic needs.

Eligibility for Adult Child Maintenance for Secondary and University Education and Disability

To be eligible for adult child maintenance, the child must meet certain criteria, including:

  • Age: The child must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Financial dependence: The child must be unable to support themselves financially due to their education or disability.
  • Reasonable needs: The child’s financial needs must be considered reasonable in light of their circumstances.
  • Reasonable educational goals: The child’s educational goals must be considered reasonable and achievable.

Obtaining Adult Child Maintenance

If you believe you or your child may be eligible for adult child maintenance, contact the Child Support Registrar at Services Australia. The Child Support Registrar will assess your eligibility and, if necessary, arrange a court hearing to determine the amount of adult child maintenance that should be paid. Also, talk to a competent child support lawyer to always keep you informed.

Extension of Child Support for Secondary Education

In some cases, child support payments may be extended beyond the age of 18 to cover the child’s final year of secondary education. This extension is automatic if the child is still enrolled in full-time secondary education when they turn 18.

Considerations for Adult Child Maintenance

While adult child maintenance is intended to provide financial support for children who are unable to support themselves, it is important to note that:

  • Adult child maintenance is not intended to replace the child’s own income-earning capacity.
  • Adult child maintenance is not intended to provide the child with a luxurious lifestyle.
  • Adult child maintenance payments may cease if the child’s circumstances change, such as becoming financially independent or entering into a de facto relationship.
  • The paying parent must have the financial capacity to provide adult child maintenance.

Also read: How Is Child Support Calculated

Do I Have To Pay Child Support If My Child Is Doing An Apprenticeship?

Yes, you may still have to pay child support if your child is doing an apprenticeship in Australia as long as you have the financial capacity to do so. 

An apprenticeship is considered a form of vocational education and training (VET), which is generally treated the same as secondary education for child support purposes. This means that child support payments may continue to be paid for a child who is doing an apprenticeship, even if they have turned 18.

Factors Considered

The Child Support Registrar will consider several factors when determining whether or not to continue child support payments for a child doing an apprenticeship, including:

  • The child’s income from the apprenticeship
  • The child’s living expenses
  • The child’s continuing education goals
  • The financial capacity of both parents

Do You Still Need to Pay Child Support After 18?

Need help with child support for a child over 18? At Justice Family Lawyers, we make it easy to understand. We know all about the laws and can guide you through every step. We’re here to help you and your child get what’s fair and right. Call Justice Family Lawyers now for friendly and easy-to-understand advice. We’re ready to help you and your family.

2 thoughts on “Child Support After 18: Everything You Need to Know About Adult Child Maintenance”

  1. Children born 1996 2000
    I continue to pay support ( over 18 )
    Info required please to stop this

    1. Hi Andrew, if you are still paying child support for children over the age of eighteen, you should get in touch with the Child Support Agency to confirm whether these payments can be stopped.

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