Is Child Support Available for a Child over 18 years old?

Picture the following scenario:

Your 18 year old is disabled and not in a full time program of education.  Is child support available for this child, even though the child is 18 years old or older?

The Answer:

Child support is NOT available for the above child if you were never married.

However, if you had been married and had the same 18 year old disabled adult child, that child would be eligible for child support.

What’s the difference?  Why does being married matter?

When parents are married they are governed by the Divorce Act; however, when parents do not marry they are governed by the Family Law Act.

Under the Divorce Act, successful claims for child support can happen when the adult child is deemed unable to withdraw from their parent’s care or obtain the necessities of life due to illness, disability or other cause. There is no corresponding section under the Family Law Act that speaks to the child’s inability to withdraw from their parent’s care or obtain the necessities of life.

So the decision to marry may play a role in whether children over the age of 18 receive child support.


Contact us anytime at SMP Law to help SiMPlify your legal matter at 905-565-9494 or email if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment to meet and discuss your situation and how we can help.