When parents go through a divorce, they often have to determine some important
factors such as child support. This is one of the many issues that may
arise during the process and it’s important to make sure you understand
what this means for you. Oftentimes, there are a number of questions that
come up by the paying spouse, such as how much they will have to pay and
for how long. This is a common concern for a number of parents, but there’s
no clear-cut answer. Every situation is different, and will rely on several
factors before the paying spouse gets his or her details regarding child support.
California Family Code Sections 3900—3902 detail how child support
is distributed, and give details regarding how long the duty of support
lasts. Generally, the support would stop at the age of 19 if the child
is still in school, or when the child graduates high school, whichever
comes first. Otherwise, the support would end when the child turns 18.
It is important to recognize various other factors that could impact this
rule and require the paying parent to provide support after the age of
19. There are also other factors that would terminate the support agreement
prior to the 19 year old or high school graduation limit. In order to
change the termination for child support, certain provisions must apply.
Paying After the Child Turns 19
Normally, the child support agreement would need special provisions to
continue past the age of 19, but there are times when the parents either
agree to pay child support longer, or when there is a court order that
requires an extended period of payment. Most often, the extended period
of payment occurs when the child has special needs or medical issues and
cannot support himself or herself. This would require the paying parent
to pay longer than expected to cover medical support. When parents can
work together to determine this portion of child support, it often proves
to be more beneficial as the paying spouse has more incentive to pay —
they don’t feel forced to do so.
In some cases, the child support can be terminated prior to the age of
19. These situations can include once the child marries or registers in
a domestic partnership, is emancipated, or joins the military. In unfortunate
situations, the death of a child can also lead to termination of child support.
In the best case scenario during divorce, the parents would be able to
agree on the amount and duration of child support together. They would
be able to recognize any potential issues that would extend the termination
of support and agree upon a custody arrangement that is in the best interests
of the child or children involved. For instance, if your child develops
a condition that prevents him or her from being able to support themselves
after the age of 19, the best option would be for parents to work on a
plan they both feel comfortable with to provide support.
Unfortunately, there are times when child support matters become contentious,
either during the divorce process or after the fact — such as during
modification proceedings. When this happens, you need to make sure your
rights are protected by a skilled
San Bernardino child support attorney. Recognizing the potential obstacles is important, and our team at Matthew
Sheasby, Attorney at Law can explain everything to you. Whether you are
going through a divorce, need to request additional support for a child,
or are being wrongfully requested to pay more support when it’s
not necessary, we may be able to help.
Call us today to ask any questions you may have.