Child Support - When Does Child Support Stop - Adult Child Maintenance

20/03/2018

Since 1989 the Child Support Agency has governed the calculation/assessment of child support in Australia.  There are a number of factors which terminate the obligation of a parent to pay child support and these are called “terminating events”. One of the “terminating events” is the child reaching the age of 18 years.

It is commonly believed that a parent’s responsibility to financially support their child ceases when each child reaches the age of 18.

The Family Law Act (section 66(l)) provides that the Court has the power to Order that one or both parents provide financial support to a child who reaches or is over the age of 18 in certain circumstances.

The Court may order this in circumstances where the maintenance is required:

  • To enable a child to complete their education including tertiary education, vocational training, professional support, training or an apprenticeship. 
  • Because of the mental or physical disability/impairment of the child.

The application for child maintenance after the child attains 18 years of age can be made by the child, a parent of the child or a grandparent of the child or another concerned person.

In determining whether or not to make the Order, the Court (Family Court of Australia or Federal Circuit Court of Australia) will consider a number of factors which includes:

  • The income and earning capacity of the parent. 
  • The cost to each parent of their own support and or other children they have a legal duty to maintain.
  • The capacity of the child to bring in their own income such as from work. 
  • The closeness of the dependence on the child and the parent.

Watson & Watson as part of a property settlement or Court process considers whether a child might need adult child maintenance (for example by reason of suffering from a disability/impairment).  We may make provision for the future care and financial support of that child a part of a property settlement.. A Child Maintenance Trust could be established.

Watson & Watson have significant experience in making applications for adult child maintenance.

One alternative to be considered is a Trust.

If you as a concerned parent, are unsure as to whether your adult child may be entitled to Adult Child Maintenance or you have any queries regarding Adult Child Support, please do not hesitate to contact Richard Watson, Family Law Solicitor or Shereen Da Gloria his Assistant to discuss your concerns to ensure that your Adult Child is provided for in the best possible way.

This is only a preliminary view and is not to be taken as legal advice without first contacting Watson & Watson Solicitors on 02 9221 6011.

Related Cases & Articles

Personal Experienced Professional Affordable

Phone 02 9221 6011

Send us your enquiry
Book an appointment Request a quote Send your question
Online enquiry form

Watson & Watson are always available to provide expert legal advice and answer any questions you may have.

All enquiries received will be responded to within 24 hours.

Call: 02 9221 6011