Do I have to pay child support for someone who is disabled? 10 Answers as of June 26, 2012

my ex is trying to make me pay for a child who is 20 years of age. She claims he is disabled yet he is attending college and living on his own in a dorm. When does child support stop in CA for a disabled child if he was disabled. And how do I prove he is not disabled?

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Michael Rose Attorney at Law
Michael Rose Attorney at Law | Michael Rose
She can go to court and ask the judge to get you to help with a disabled child.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/26/2012
Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
Support normally ends at age 18 or 19 if still in high school. Unless the prior marital settlement agreement or court order says support continues after that time, you can stop payment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/22/2012
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
The family code allows for support to continue for a child over the age of 18 who is disabled. Determining the nature and degree for support purposes is a complicated process. You really need to work with an experienced family law attorney to explore your legal options.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/22/2012
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
A parent can be ordered by the Court to pay child support for a disabled adult child of the marriage. You can file a Motion for your expert Medical Doctor (or Psychiatrist or Psychologist, depending on the claimed disability) to examine the adult child (at your expense), and you can file an Order to Show Cause to terminate support for your adult child, based on your expert's opinion, if the expert's opinion is that your adult child is not disabled. You will need to have your expert testify at the hearing on your Order to Show Cause.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/22/2012
Attorney At Law | Harry D. Roth
Support is payable for a child up to age 18, or up to 19 if the child is still living at home and still attending high school. Support is payable for a disabled adult child up to any age. That support must be established by a separate order for such support. The burden is on the parent seeking to impose liability for support on the other parent. Once an order is made the burden falls on the party who wants to avoid payment of support. In short, before you must pay for an adult child, it is your former spouse who must take you to court and prove the disability. A childhood order does not automatically carry over.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/22/2012
    Diefer Law Group, P.C.
    Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
    The general rule in California is that child support ends when the child turns 18 and graduates high school. If the child is in college, support should terminate unless this is a dependent child. The child would have to be a dependent child that cannot provide for himself or herself.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/21/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    The burden of proof is on the moving party. So if the court has previously agreed that your child is disabled then you would need an expert opinion that he is not. Likewise, if the court has not so ruled she must show the disability in order for there to be support past the age of 18.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/21/2012
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    California Family Code Section 3910 holds parents accountable for their children, regardless of age, if a child is incapacitated from earning a living. Section 3910 states: "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." The child support amount for an adult incapacitated child is based on California Child Support Guidelines, the same as calculated for a minor child. Also, adult children who receive Social Security or financial aid may still be awarded child support under section 3910. Such payments do not automatically excuse a parent's child support obligation, as the adult child could still be "without sufficient means." A formal evaluation by a vocational expert may be necessary to determine if the condition renders the child incapacitated from earning a living. If so, the father and mother can be held to the same child support guidelines as if their child were still a minor. However, even if a determination is made that the child is disabled, support may not be ordered if the adult child with disabilities is, or can be gainfully employed, and therefore capable of earning a sufficient living to support him/herself. You should consult with a local family lawyer to learn how California Family Code Section 3910 may apply in your circumstances.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/21/2012
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Normally, child support terminates in California when the child turns 18 (but it can extend by operation of law until the child graduates from high school or turns 19, whichever occurs first). That duty can extend by agreement of the parties or if the adult child is incapacitated (Family Code Section 3910). Generally, the child must be incapable of supporting themselves. While I cannot quote a code section or case law on this issue, generally, it would appear that the burden to prove that the child is incapacitated lies with the person requesting support. As such, I don't believe that you would have to prove that the child isn't incapacitated. That said, this matter should be further researched for a definitive answer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/21/2012
    Law Offices of Tobie B. Waxman
    Law Offices of Tobie B. Waxman | Tobie B. Waxman
    What does your judgment say? Usually when a child graduates from high school and turns 18, child support obligations end. But, the parties can agree otherwise and incorporate that agreement into the terms of the judgment. The fact of disability alone does not automatically warrant extending the obligation to pay support.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/21/2012
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