Child Support Doesn’t End at 18

Although many people believe that child support ends at the age of 18 recent US Census data shows that 21.6 million members of the “Millennial Generation” (ages 18-31) lived in their parents’ home in 2012.

More Adults Living At Home

A Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows that 36 percent of millennials live with their parents. This begs the question, if kids are still living at home past the age of 18 are both parents still responsible for supporting them via child support?

Who is responsible for supporting them?

Given this information, it would benefit parents establishing child support order or agreements today to define how long child support should continue. Don’t wait until your children are 18 to have the conversation. By that time, if both parents don’t agree, one parent may be the only one supporting the adult until they are able to support themselves.

Questions to discuss as part of your support agreement

If you have young children today it may seam like this is a lifetime away but it is best to discuss these things now and get a legal agreement before the time comes and the opinions of supporting your young adult differs with the other parent.

Some things to consider when having the conversation:

  1. When will child support end?
  2. Will the end date be based on the child’s age? economic standing? education attainment?
  3. Are both parents responsible for college expenses?
  4. What if the child decides to pursue a post-graduate education? Who, if any, is responsible for those costs?
  5. What if the child is unable to find employment after college graduation? Who, if any, is responsible for those costs?
  6. Who will provide medical coverage for the child after the age of 18?
  7. What if the child does not return home but can not fully support themselves when they live on their own?

Read more about these living trends here: Pew Social Trends

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