Will I still have to pay child support after my child turns 18?

In certain circumstances, yes you may.

Application to extend child support assessment

A parent receiving child support for a child who is

  • turning 18; and
  • completing full time secondary education;

can make an application to extend the child support assessment until the end of the school year.

The Child Support Agency requires applications to be made before the child’s 18th birthday.  Late applications will only be accepted where there are exceptional circumstances, such as serious health problems or hardship (eg a natural disaster) which caused delay in lodging the application.

Contact the Child Support Agency to find out if you are eligible to extend your child support agreement.

Application for Adult Child Maintenance

Adult child maintenance (which is different to child support) may also be payable where the child is attending university or TAFE, or where the child has a mental or physical disability.  This cannot be done through the Child Support Agency.  Parents can make their own agreement about the maintenance to be paid, or the paying parent may make an agreement with the child directly.  In circumstances where parties cannot agree, either a parent or the child can make an application to the court seeking adult child maintenance to enable the child to complete their education.

The amount of maintenance payable will depend on factors such as the child’s expenses and the financial position of each parent.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form to make an appointment if you would like advice or assistance in applying for adult child maintenance, or in negotiating payment terms with your child or the other parent.

Lara Tom
Solicitor
Family Law