|Extending Child Support Past Age 18 |
|Based on High School Enrollment|
A parent's duty to support a child generally ends when the child reaches 18 years of age, is emancipated, or dies. However, the duty to pay child support may be extended past a child's 18th birthday if the child is fully enrolled in an accredited secondary school in a program leading toward a high school diploma or enrolled in courses for joint high school and junior college credit.
Time for modification.
A suit to extend child support past the child's eighteenth birthday based on enrollment in high school may be filed before or after the child turns 18. If filed after the child has turned 18, however, the court has authority to issue only a prospective support order that is effective from the date of service of citation or an appearance in the suit, whichever is earlier.
Based on Child's Disability
Although a parent's duty to support a child generally ends when the child reaches 18 years of age, is emancipated, or dies, a court may order either or both parents to support a disabled child for an indefinite period. If there is a court that has continuing, exclusive jurisdiction, the parent of a disabled child may bring a modification suit seeking post-majority support of the child regardless of the child's age.
The court may order either or both parents to provide for the support of a minor or adult disabled child for an indefinite period and determine the rights and duties of the child's parents for the support of the child if the court finds the existence of all the following:
Standing to sue.
- The child, whether institutionalized or not, requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a mental or physical disability; and
- The child, as a result, will not be able to be self-supporting; and
- The disability exists, or the cause of the disability was known to exist, on or before the child's eighteenth birthday.
The following persons have standing to sue for the post-majority support of a disabled child :
- A parent.
- A person having physical custody or guardianship of the child under a court order.
- The child, if the child is 18 years of age or older, does not have a mental disability, and is be capable of managing his or her own financial affairs