In Australia, the legal obligation of parents to financially support their children typically ends when the child turns 18. However, there are specific circumstances where the obligation to pay child support may continue after the child has turned 18 and is still studying.
The Child Support (Assessment) Act 1989 provides that a child support assessment can be extended for a child who is 18 or over if the child is completing their final year of secondary school education. In such cases, the child support assessment can be extended until the end of the school year in which the child turns 18.
Additionally, the Family Law Act 1975 provides that a court can make an order for the maintenance of an adult child (over 18) in specific circumstances, such as where the child has a mental or physical disability or where the child is undertaking education or training.
The court will consider several factors when deciding whether to make an order for the maintenance of an adult child, including:
The financial needs of the child: This includes the costs of education, training, and any special needs the child may have.
The financial capacity of the parents: This includes the income, earning capacity, property, and financial resources of both parents.
The age of the child: The court will consider the age of the child and whether it is appropriate for the parents to continue to financially support the child.
The child's capacity to support themselves: This includes the child's ability to earn an income and any other financial resources available to the child.
Any other relevant factors: The court will consider any other factors it considers relevant to the case.
It is important to note that the court has a wide discretion in making orders for the maintenance of adult children, and each case will be decided based on its unique circumstances.
In Australia, the obligation to pay child support typically ends when the child turns 18. However, there are specific circumstances where the obligation may continue for adult children who are still studying or have special needs. If you have an adult child who requires financial support, it is advisable to seek legal advice to understand your rights and obligations. Additionally, it may be possible to reach an agreement with the other parent regarding the financial support of the adult child without the need for court intervention.