Florida law generally requires that both parents support their children until they turn 18 or until they graduate from high school or turn 19. However, when a child has a mental disability that inhibits his or her ability to support themselves during adulthood, the support can last longer. The child’s condition will determine how long the support will last. For instance, if the child has a severe mental illness that keeps them from working or living independently, support may be indefinite. Likewise, the amount of support will depend on the child’s needs.

Child Support during Divorce
While standard child support is supposed to cover routine medical expenses, it is not designed to cover specialized treatment. If your child has ongoing therapy, expensive medications, or needs recurrent hospitalizations, the out-of-pocket costs can be significant. You will want to make certain to accurately represent the expenses associated with your child’s current and anticipated care so that the calculated child support amount will be adequate for any extraordinary needs.

Agreement between the Parties
As with most divorce terms, the parties can agree to the amount and length of child support provided the court views the agreement as being in the best interest of the child. Divorcing parents should take the time to sit down and have an honest discussion about their child’s future requirements. In many cases, parents are equally concerned about their child’s future and will be able to decide on child support terms that will support their well-being and long-term care needs.

If you or someone you care about is considering a divorce or separation, having an experienced family law attorney is extremely important. Draper Law Office is helping with family law matters since 1984. Call 407.846.0075.