Can Adult Children Receive Child Support Payments?

Can Adult Children Receive Child Support Payments?

Article Published:
January 24, 2022

More children are residing with parents beyond the age of 18

In the modern economy today, more children are continuing to reside with their parents beyond the age of 18. For separating parents, the continued financial support of adult children may therefore be a consideration.

Fortunately, the Family Law Act 19752 ("the Act”) anticipates this scenario. The Act gives power to the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia to make orders about the financial support by separating parents of their children after the age of adulthood only in two circumstances:

  1. If the child(ren) needs financial support to complete their education; and or
  2. If the child(ren) has a mental or physical disability.

Child Support for minors

Whilst your children remain under the age of 18, there are two ways in which child support can be arranged for them.

Parents have the option to apply for a child support assessment from Services Australia (Child Support)(henceforth“the agency”), which allows the agency to determine the amounts to be contributed towards child support by each parent.

Alternatively, parents can choose to arrive at their own determination of how much child support should be contributed by one to the other, as well as around any further and other payment arrangements they agree to enter for financial support of the children.These arrangements can be documented in a Child Support Agreement.

Planning Ahead

If your children are still minors while you are separating but you are aware that you will be continuing to financially support them into adulthood for one of the above two circumstances, it is possible to plan ahead for this in your family law agreements with your partner.

You will need to think about how long you expect the financial support to continue, how it will be paid, the amount you both consider to be reasonable for financial support of the child(ren) at that age, and or whether a Child Maintenance Trust may be more appropriate. For instance in cases where you have come to an agreement about your property settlement.

Contact our friendly team today for advice and information about how I relate. Collaborative Family Law can assist you in negotiating child support agreements for adult children.