If your adult child is returning home, you aren’t alone. Today, many adult children are flocking back home to lessen expenses while working toward independence. Though many parents want to help their adult child during this time in their life, they may undergo financial strain. While you may think you and the other parent should share this financial responsibility, there are restrictions on when you can ask for child support after your child turns 18.
Supporting Your Adult Child
Under Massachusetts law, the courts can order child support for adult children over the age of 18. Child support can be ordered for children aged 18-22 as long as specific parameters are met. Child support can be ordered for adult children who have disabilities, are in college, or otherwise are unable to support themselves fully. The court can also order health care coverage and education support (e.g. tuition) for the adult child as well. It is important to understand the court does not have to order child support for children over 18. And, if not otherwise specified, child support does end once a child turns 18 and graduates from high school. If your adult child moves back home and child support has already stopped, you can either file an agreement between you and your spouse or file a complaint for child support with the court.
The judge will consider many factors when deciding on child support for a child over the age of 18, such as:
- The reason why the child is moving back home and will be dependent on the parent
- Whether the child has special needs
- The costs for the child, such as tuition
- The child’s financial aid options, if any, and
- The parents’ financial circumstances
Working out an agreement with your spouse first is the best way to ensure you get the support your child needs. If your adult child is moving back home and you want to get a child support order, consider speaking with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator. If you and your spouse cannot agree, a mediator can help facilitate negotiations so you can create your agreement.
Do you have questions about child support for your adult child? Mediation Advantage Services can help you. Experienced in divorce mediation, family law attorney Polly A. Tatum can help modify your alimony if you experience a significant change in circumstances. Based in historic Worcester with a satellite office in Northboro, MA, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 645-6374, fill out our online form, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free e-book for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.