Most parents genuinely love their children. They take pride in their children’s accomplishments and want them to have every opportunity possible for advancement. As children grow older, parents remain supportive and help them to become healthy, happy adults. Most parents would never dream of hurting their children or purposely withholding support. Yet in cases of divorce, even parents with the best intentions may come to question the level of support that they are providing, especially as their children grow older.
Supporting one’s child is not only the moral thing to do–it is required by law. The court awards child support based on each parent’s respective income and timeshare with the child. And when a child reaches majority (in California age 18), or, if still in high school when they graduate or turn 19, whichever occurs first, child support obligations generally cease. (In some cases where the child has a mental or physical disability that prevents the child from being self-supporting, the court may order support for a longer period.) Further, California law does not require parents to support their children through college. Should they wish, however, parents may voluntarily make arrangements to support their children through college and beyond. Interestingly, California law also requires children to provide support to their parents under certain circumstances, so the next time you are concerned about paying support for your child, remember, one day it might be you needing it from them!