December 12, 2018

Does Michigan child support go past the age of eighteen?

The purpose of regular child support is to assist children of divorced or separated parents throughout their upbringing so that they can develop into well functioning and capable adults. Many assume that children no longer receive support upon turning eighteen years old. However, this is not always the case in Michigan.

Child support, in addition to paying for food, clothing and health care expenses, also provides for the basic educational needs of a child. Hopefully, a child of divorced parents can navigate the school years with little trouble. By the time the child becomes a legal adult, he or she should have graduated from school and is ready to proceed with the next phase of life.

But in some cases, children encounter challenges in their school years. They may be held back a grade. They may have difficulty with a subject. They might have changed schools. The divorce experience could also present emotional challenges that make schooling harder. As a result, some children upon reaching eighteen have not been able to graduate from high school.

According to FindLaw, Michigan law does account for a scenario when a child has not completed a high school education by eighteen years old. If a child is still living full time with a parent that has been receiving support payments and has not finished high school, the child remains eligible for support, but only to the age of nineteen and a half years old.

This extension provides a cushion for children who still need to wrap up their high school education, but the window is limited. It is the best interests of the child for the parents to do all they can to shepherd their child successfully through the school years so that their child can enjoy a good life.

Keep in mind that this article is written for the educational benefit of the reader and does not provide any legal advice.