A Child Support Assessment ceases automatically once a child attains the age of 18 or completes Year 12 at school, whichever is the later.
However, sometimes that child still needs support either because:
- The child is undertaking Tertiary studies; or
- The child is physically or mentally ill and not able to provide self-support.
In those circumstances, a Court has to decide the level of support.
How Does The Court Work this Out?
When deciding what is appropriate, the Court looks at such factors as:
- The financial circumstances of the person applying for adult child maintenance (this is usually the party with whom the child lives or it may be the child);
- The financial circumstances of the other parent;
- The child’s own capacity to support him/herself, including:
- The child’s health;
- Whether the child can readily obtain work (eg. does the child live in a remote location or in a city setting where there are work opportunities);
- The type of tertiary course the child is undertaking (eg. For how many core hours the child requires to be at the tertiary institution as against what spare time the child has to work);
- The child’s own financial circumstances (eg. does the child receive money from a family trust, or under a will, does the child have assets, etc).
It is most important that the best interests of your children are properly protected whether it is living or financial arrangements.