Adult Child Support Explained
Under California law, if a child is “incapacitated from earning a living” and the child is also “without sufficient means” the father and the mother must provide support. Specifically, the statute found in Family Code Section 3910 states both the “father and mother have an equal responsibility to maintain, to the extent of their ability, a child of whatever age who is incapacitated from earning a living and without sufficient means.”
Should I Agree To Pay Adult Child Support?
So often this statute is misunderstood, and a parent agrees to support it without considering the ramifications. There are several factors you should consider when dealing with adult child support. First, notice that there is no timeline. Adult child support can last the whole life of the child. Second, consider whether your child is truly incapacitated from earning a living. If your child is disabled, you should be paying for his or her support if you can. But, if your child has a disorder rather than a disability, consider whether the child may eventually be self-supporting with the right support system around him or her. Of course, as a parent, you will help when they need it, but you don’t necessarily want that to be by court order. Moreover, you may want to pay the child directly rather than to the other parent. You may also want more flexibility on how to provide support rather than through a court order. Court orders do not always conceive of every type of support you will be providing your child.
If you are the one seeking support, make sure that you have an experienced Orange County family law attorney who understands adult child support laws. You have a heavy burden, and if it is not done correctly, you will not succeed.
New Laws For Adult Child Support
A recent case sheds light on the rule for adult child support. The case is called Marriage of Cecilia and David W, and it sets forth a two-prong test for when adult child support is appropriate and when it should not be ordered, such as in the case of not being able to earn a living due to factors beyond their own control and no way to provide self-support. The first prong requires a showing that the adult child is unable to be self-supporting or to find work because of mental or physical disability.
What does this mean for you if you are paying support and have an adult child with a disorder? If your child does not have a disability but does have a disorder that affects his or her daily life, you should not necessarily agree to adult child support. A court should not rubber-stamp an adult child support order.
Song Family Law, APLC, Provides Experienced Adult Child Support Guidance
If you have a child whom you believe will need adult child support, make sure you have an experienced attorney who knows the adult child support laws and knows how to implement the right strategy. I am Hogan W. Song, a Certified Family Law Specialist, and I can help you. Contact my law firm online or call me at 888-999-0259. I serve clients with adult child support questions throughout Orange County from my offices in Mission Viejo and Orange.