Support for Adult Child Maintenance

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Support of adult “children”

There are some circumstances where the Family Law Courts have the power to make Orders for maintenance for “children” over the age of eighteen. This is sometimes referred to as “adult child maintenance”.

How do you get the other parent to contribute to the support of your adult “child”?

Both parents have a duty to support their children. The Family Law Act makes provision for the payment of maintenance beyond a child’s eighteenth birthday in circumstances where the Court is satisfied that the provision of maintenance is necessary:-
(a) To enable the child to complete his or her education; or
(b) Because of a mental or physical disability of the child.

What matters will the Court take into account in this situation?

The Court takes into account a range of matters including the income, earning capacity property and financial resources of the parents and their commitments necessary to support themselves or any children or any other person that they have a duty to maintain and the costs incurred by the parent with whom the child is living in providing care for them. The Court generally disregards entitlements that the child or the parent with whom the child is living have to Centrelink benefits.

What if you are receiving Child Support but your child turns eighteen while attending full time secondary school?

This is different from “adult child maintenance”. You can apply to extend the Child Support Assessment or Agreement until the last day of the school year. If you are the parent receiving Child Support, you must apply to the Child Support Agency after the child turns seventeen but before they turn eighteen.