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Can You Get Past Due Child Support After the Child Becomes an Adult?

Florida has very specific laws in place regarding child support. Both parents are obligated to provide financial support for their child to help ensure their basic needs are met through adulthood. Generally speaking, however, child support obligations end when a child becomes a legal adult at 18. Can you get child support or past due child support once the child becomes an adult? We’ll talk more about this here.

Can You Get Past Due Child Support After the Child Becomes an Adult?

The obligation to pay past due child support does not end when the child becomes an adult. The parent who missed child support payments will still owe these payments after the child becomes 18 years of age or the child support payment obligation ends. In fact, there is no statute of limitation on back child support. The custodial parent will, generally speaking, continue to retain the right to collect on the owed overdue balance.

To collect on past due child support, the custodial parent must seek a court order with a judge’s signature. This court order will preserve their right to make a claim on future money owed for back child support. So, make sure you pursue this signed court order. Once your child turns 18, you can still take action to compel the debtor parent to satisfy the past-due child support obligation. The debtor parent cannot just try to run out the clock until the child turns 18 and then be absolved of all payment obligations. The obligation will continue until satisfied.

It is worth noting here, however, that not all child support payment obligations will end once the child has turned 18. The most notable exception to this may be the fact that Florida law provides an exception when the child has reached the legal age of 18, but has not yet graduated from high school. In these types of cases, Florida law provides that there will be an extension of child support payments until the child graduates from high school as long as there is a reasonable expectation that the child will graduate prior to their 19th birthday. Without this reasonable expectation, then the child support obligation will automatically terminate when the child turns 18.

Another notable exception to child support terminating when the child turns 18 is if the child is handicapped or otherwise has special needs. In the event that a child has special needs and is not capable of becoming self-supporting, then child support will not end. Upon request by the custodial parent, child support can be ordered for the child’s lifetime.

Florida Family Law Attorneys

Are you still owed past-due child support? Do you have child support questions? Let the dedicated team of family law attorneys at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou help. We understand that child support issues can be particularly frustrating, but also necessary to resolve. Contact us today.

Andrew Nickolaou

Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew also handles record expungements and sealings. If you have questions about this article, contact Andrew today by clicking here.