Typically, parents in Arizona pay support for their children until they become adults. But there are some circumstances when child support payments may continue after a child reaches adulthood.
Adulthood in Arizona
The age of maturity in Arizona, when a person is considered an adult, is 18-years old. Support typically ends when a child reaches that age. Support may continue, however, for a child who is still in school, a child with special needs, if the parents have a special agreement or a parent owes back support.
Most children reach 18 when they are still in high school. When this occurs, child support will likely continue until the child graduates or reaches their 19th birthday, whichever occurs first.
Child support often goes past the age of maturity if a child has special needs. Support may go on indefinitely for children who are unable to become self-dependent and require parental for the rest of their lives.
A child reaching 18 does not erase a parent’s missed child support payments. The paying parent must continue to pay any support that is in arrears until it is paid in full.
Parents may also enter an agreement to extend child support payments into adulthood. Typically, these agreements cover tuition and other expenses for college.
But the parents can agree to extended payments for other various reasons. Maintaining consistency in their children’s lives and providing the level of support that would have existed if the parents stayed together may underly these agreements.
Parents may also need to modify support agreements after their child reaches 18 because circumstances changed. An attorney can help parents seek a fair and reasonable agreement and seek modifications when appropriate.