The best way to analyze the question of, Does Child Support Automatically Stop When Child Turns 18 in Florida, is by understanding and interpreting the Florida Child Support Statute. When a child reaches 18, which is known as the age of “majority” in Florida, child support terminates with a court order. Child support may also stop automatically if the Department of Revenue is abiding by its own order. However, Florida Statute 743.07(2) provides at least three exceptions to this general rule. Attorney Jonathan Jacobs is a child support lawyer in Orlando and a child support lawyer in Clermont Florida that offers legal help to great people when they need someone to fight for them. Can I stop paying child support when Child turns 18 in Florida? Call 407-335-8113 for legal help today.
A Florida court may exercise its judicial discretion (upon the presentation of competent and substantial evidence warranting such a showing) impose a child support order that goes beyond a child’s 18th birthday. This can happen if the child is mentally or physically incapacitated or has not yet graduated from high school but has a reasonable expectation of graduating before turning 19. Such a mental or physical incapacity must have originated (existed) prior to the child turning the age of majority (18 in Florida). Examples of such incapacity must be proven to the court, which could include lengthy hearings involving the presentation of evidence justifying such an exception to the general rule. Attorney Jonathan Jacobs is a child support lawyer lake county Florida, and child support lawyer Orange County Florida. It is important to address another popular question of can I stop paying child support when child turns 18 in Florida.
Can I Stop Paying Child Support When Child Turns 18 in Florida?
To answer the question of can I stop paying child support when child turns 18 in Florida, we look to the second statutory exception to the general rule of termination. The second exception to the general rule of termination of child support upon the child’s 18th birthday, is if the child is still enrolled in high school and has a reasonable expectation (high probability, in all likelihood) of graduation by the age of 19, child support payments may be extended for approximately one year, or until graduation. The Rule itself provides that child support cannot be extended if the child is dilly-dallying and failing to advance in school, or has dropped out and seeks to later re-enroll. If the child is working hard toward obtaining a high school diploma, and reasonable circumstances have caused a late graduation, then child support payments may be extended in such a circumstance.
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Another answer to can I stop paying child support when child turns 18 in Florida, is provided by the third exception to the general rule that child support terminates upon the child’s 18th birthday. A payor of child support can stop if or when the parties agree to a separate arrangement. The court does not have to authorize this arrangement, but some parties stringently refuse to accept payments in exchange for maximum timesharing (i.e. the other party receiving no contact and no timesharing with the child). Generally, this may require a termination of parental rights and a concurrent adoption by another parent. Child support arrears are often bargained in return for such timesharing arrangements.
Does Child Support Automatically Stop when Child Turns 18 in Florida
Remember, that the Department of Revenue, like many agencies, will continue enforcing an existing order unless there has been a Motion to Terminate Child Support. If the support payments are made through an income deduction ordered imposed by the DOR, a Motion to Vacate the Income Deduction Order may be required. Therefore, to answer this question, does child support automatically stop when child turns 18 in Florida, it is important to note that the DOR generally requires official notice to terminate, even if the child is 18 years of age, and by statute should no longer be eligible for child support. This ensures that payments are made until the statute no longer governs upon the minor child’s 18th birthday, unless otherwise specified in the order. This rule is intended to protect minor children.
Contact the Jacobs Law Firm, child support lawyer Lake County Florida, child support lawyer Orange County Florida today to find out more about your obligations. Can I Stop Paying Child Support When Child Turns 18 in Florida? Does Child Support Automatically Stop When Child turns 18 in Florida? The Statute answers both of the central questions at least in a general sense, not taking into account the specifics of your case.
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