Child Support for a Disabled Adult Child

Alan R. Burton Attorney at Law

The legal system recognizes that children are generally incapable of adequately supporting themselves and, therefore, parents are required to provide financial support. In cases in which two parents are no longer together, one parent generally has the obligation to pay regular child support to the other parent. When a child reaches the age of 18, he or she is considered an adult and child support obligations generally cease.

There are two important exceptions under Florida law to the rule that child support terminates on the child’s 18th birthday and these exceptions are as follows:

  • The child is 18, lives at home, attends high school, and there is reasonable expectation that the child will graduate before their 19th birthday; or
  • The child is over 18 but remains dependent on their parents because of mental or physical incapacity that started when they were younger than 18.

The second exception is important for any parents of children who are either born with a disabling condition, develop a condition during childhood, or who sustained a catastrophic injury that left them unable to care for themselves.

Does Your Child Qualify for Extended Child Support?

The important factor in determining whether an adult child will qualify for child support is whether the child is “dependent” on their parent for support. Some courts equate dependency with “disability” while others state that dependency requires an adult child to suffer from a “serious” mental or physical incapacitation. In some cases, it is clear that an adult child cannot care for him or herself while, in others, the discretion to interpret the law and determine whether extended child support is warranted rests with the court.

For example, if a child is completely unable to work due to mental or physical impairments, the finding of dependency would be likely. On the other hand, if a child has an illness or impairment but can hold a job and/or live on his or her own, he or she would likely not qualify as dependent. Many cases, though, fall somewhere in between. For example, a gray area may exist in the case of an adult child who has a moderate psychological condition or partial physical impairment and lives at home for assistance. The court may decide that, while the parent does provide support, the child is actually capable of supporting him or herself and may not extend the child support obligations. In such cases, it is imperative to present your case to the court in a way that supports your position.

A Qualified Child Support Attorney in Boca Raton Can Help You Today

If you are facing a child support determination and have a disabled child, you should always have an experienced child support lawyer representing your interests. Additionally, you should call an attorney as soon as possible if you believe an existing child support order should be modified because your child has become incapacitated. Caring for a disabled child is difficult enough without having to worry about financial obligations. Please call the family law office of Alan R. Burton at 954-229-1660 for a free consultation today.

Client Reviews

Alan R. Burton is a good human being but truly a great lawyer. Alan R. Burton took my very weak case but with his dedication and smartness Alan R. Burton ended up winning it for me and most important Alan R. Burton won the case with 0% tolerance for lies and 100% for truth. I’m simply convinced with...

Amer A.

"Alan Burton represented me on a tough child support case. He was extremely professional, aggressive and ethical in the courtroom. He is very honest and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him for any case, no questions asked. Thank you Mr. Burton for all of your help and support through this...

Abigail A.

"As a single working mother of two young children, I totally appreciated Alan's flexibility to E mail and to converse by phone. There were times I could only respond or ask questions regarding my case well after 6 P.M. and Alan always made himself available to suit my schedule. Alan is a single dad...

Stephanie C.

"I give great pleasure in writing this review for Mr. Alan Burton. He was a tremendous help in resolving my foreign divorce/child custody case. Very competent, knowledgeable and always available; day and night. I am located in the Middle East and had a very complicated divorce/child custody case...

David A.

"As any devoted parent who loves their children, imagine the thought of your children being abducted by another parent. The feeling of not knowing if you will ever get them back, the anxiety of court proceedings, and a possible International custody battle. This is something I would never want any...

Stefan B.

Get in Touch

  1. 1 Free Consultation
  2. 2 40 Years of Experience
  3. 3 Speak Directly to an Attorney
Fill out the contact form or call us at (954) 229-1660 to schedule your free consultation.

Leave Us a Message