Child support is usually paid until a child turns 18.
If a child or children over 18 cannot support themselves they can still receive financial support for education expenses or if they have a mental or physical disability.
Child support is usually paid until a child turns 18. Some situations where it may be stopped early include:
- if the child becomes self-sufficient.
- if the child marries or enters into a defacto or marriage like relationship.
- if the child is adopted.
- if the child dies.
If a child or children over 18 cannot support themselves, a Court can make an Order for parents to continue to provide financial support because they:
- are completing their secondary or tertiary education (eg secondary school, TAFE, university, apprenticeship).
- have a mental or physical disability.
This is called adult child maintenance.
If a child turns 18 while completing their final year of secondary school, the parent receiving payments can apply to the Department of Human Services (Child Support) (DHS) to extend support until the end of the school year. The application needs to be made before the child turns 18, and can be made by a parent or a child.
The amount of maintenance to be paid will depend on the child’s necessary expenses, each parent’s financial position and their situation.
Parents can make their own agreement or file Consent Orders in Court (where both parents agree to the Orders). If an agreement cannot be reached, the Court can decide the amount to be paid. A Court Order for ongoing payments can be registered for collection with the DHS and can be paid to the parent or the child.
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