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Dave Kennett
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Does Alabama have an age limit on post minority support?

Resolved Question:

Does Alabama have an age limit on post minority support?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.
Dear JACUSTOMER - The termination of child support in Alabama is 19. I'm not certain if that answers your question or if there are some extenuating circumstances why you believe there may be a variance from this age such as a disability of the child so if you have something further please let me know.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Many attorney's in Alabama websites agree with what you replied, but they go on to say that post minority support can, and commonly is, awarded for a child that has graduated high school and enrolled in college. Missouri, for example, clearly states that the obligation ends at age 21. What is Alabama's position on age limit for post minority child support? My child is not disabled.

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.
I see nothing in the Alabama statutes that provides for the court to order child support for adult children. Domestic relations courts are courts of equity so they are able to create orders in certain situations where support can be ordered past age 19. Generally when there is an order for support during college it is by agreement of the parties, either in the original support and custody order or by some later agreement. I'm not certain what Missouri has to do with any of this but every state is different in child support laws so what MO or any other state does is irrelevant to Alabama. Alabama is also different in that the age of majority is 19 while virtually all other states has 18. So in many of the other states child support is allowed until 19 or graduation from high school since not all kids graduate by 18. Only a very few states have court ordered support longer than 19 except for the situations where a child is disabled. Unless support during college is agreed upon my opinion is that the court will not force a parent to pay support for an adult child.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Mr. Kennet,


"Alabama courts may require parents to provide post-minority support for child's college education. Ex Parte Bayliss, 550 So. 2d 1038 (1989); Ala. Code § 30-3-1." I found this by Googling Alabama post minority child support and one of the links was to just answer.com with the quote above. I believe that the post-minority support must be sought before the child turns 19, but my question about an age limit on post-minority support remains unanswered.

Expert:  Dave Kennett replied 1 year ago.
As I said, domestic relations courts are courts of equity so they can deviate from the statutes in certain cases and certainly when the parties have agreed. You can find cases where the support was ordered but it always depends on the individual circumstances. When you refer to an age limit there is none listed in the statute so therefore it would be theoretically possible to pay for an adult child who is attending college in his or her 30s and beyond. The answer to your question is that there is no age limit in the statutes however from a practical standpoint I know of no court in the US that will grant support for adults going to college beyond the age of 22 or 23 at most. Of course then you get into the question of what happens if the child drops out and then returns to college or gets married while in college etc. You are correct in your statement that it would have to be sought before age 19.
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27687
Experience: 25 years experience as practicing attorney
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