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Adult Child Maintenance

6 June 2017

Just because a child is undertaking further education after turning 18 does not mean that a parent is required to continue to financially support that child.  Adult child maintenance is entirely separate from child support, it involves different legislation, different considerations and it has no prescribed formula.

The key factor for determining whether adult child maintenance will be ordered is whether the money is “necessary” in order for the child to complete their tertiary education.  A recent Family Court case has considered when financial support will be “necessary”.

The Facts:

  • The ‘child’ was 19 at the time, and in his 2nd year of a university degree. He was studying full-time and working part-time, and continued to live with his mother.  He did not pay board and used his income for his own purposes.
  • The child and his father were estranged and had not had a relationship for approximately 8 years. The father had paid child support until the child turned 18.
  • The father had recently reduced his work hours and was earning around $83,000 per annum.
  • The mother’s main source of income was a disability pension. There was no doubt that the mother was under financial strain.

Court Held:

  • The Court must consider the income, financial resources and necessary expenses of the parents. The Court can also consider the relationship between the child and the parent being asked for financial support.
  • There was evidence that the child had the capacity to support himself through his part-time job.
  • The child had already done 1 year of university without financial support from his father.

Court Ordered:

  • The father pay the child the “modest” amount of $1,000 each semester he was studying.

Each matter is unique and needs to be addressed according to your personal circumstances and needs. To speak with one of our experienced family lawyers, please contact our Brisbane office today.

Call us on (07) 3221 4300 to organise a no-obligation initial appointment at a fixed-cost. We will be happy to assist you in person, over the phone or by Skype.

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2019-04-23T14:45:01+10:00

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