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Am I able to collect child support after my child turns 18?

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2022 | Child Support

Like most other states, Pennsylvania requires parents to support their children until the children turn 18 and graduate from high school. A parent in the Pittsburgh area should not count on support with 100% certainty once a child hits legal adulthood, which in the Pennsylvania Child Support Guideline is defined as 18 years old and graduated from high school.

As with any rule, though, there are some exceptions. For example, children who are legally emancipated do not have a right to receive child support, even if they are under 18 and or not graduated from high school.

Parents of special needs children may be able to request ongoing support

Likewise, parents of children with special needs may be able to request a court order that the other parent pay child support even after the child turns 18 and graduates from high school.

As a caution, though, this is an unclear area of the law, which depends a lot on a person’s circumstances. A Pittsburgh resident interested in pursuing child support for a special needs adult child should strongly consider speaking with an experienced family law attorney about this option.

In general, though, the idea is that a parent may have an ongoing obligation to pay support if a child has physical, intellectual or other challenges that make it difficult for the child to support themselves.

Generally speaking, the child has to prove to a court that they are entitled to the support. Practically, this means a parent who wants to pursue support from the other parent may wish to create a guardianship for their adult child.

The good news is that, when the circumstances call for it, parents are able to seek child support after a child turns 18 and graduates from high school.

Pennsylvania Bar Association

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