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Can child support continue after a child turns 18?

Many parents are able to use Florida's child support guidelines and reach an agreement about support payments without having to ask a court to intervene. In other cases, however, court intervention is necessary.

Under Florida's child support statutes, support orders must provide a schedule that states when the order takes effect, as well as the amount of support to be paid each month for all of the paying parent's minor children. The schedule must also establish the amount to be paid for any children still entitled to support after any other children are no longer entitled.

In Florida, children are generally no longer entitled to child support once they turn 18, but there are exceptions. The parents can agree on their own that support will continue after the child's 18th birthday. The court is also allowed to order child support for an 18-year-old dependent who is still in high school and who expects to graduate before turning 19.

If a minor child has a physical or mental disability prior to turning 18, then the court may require a parent to continue paying child support after the child turns 18.

For more on child support for medical expenses and therapy, please see our overview of Divorce with Special Needs Children.

In many cases, child support is a challenging aspect of life after divorce, both for the obligor parent (the parent who pays) and the receiving parent. To resolve your child support issues amicably and efficiently, speak with a family law attorney with experience in these matters.

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