If You Continue to Pay for Your Young Adult Son or Daughter’s Healthcare, Is Your Ex-Spouse Obligated to Share the Cost?
Every parent knows that the odds are stacked against children being able to be completely financially independent of their parents as soon as they turn eighteen. While some young adults make it their priority to make a clean break from their parents’ rules and their parents’ financial support as soon as they turn eighteen, it requires extraordinary determination on the part of the young adults. For this reason, many health insurance plans allow a policyholder to keep coverage for his or her children until they turn 26. Despite this, most child support orders state that the wealthier parent must only pay child support until the child’s eighteenth birthday, except in cases where the child’s health problems are so serious that he or she will probably need financial support from his or her parents for the rest of the parents’ lives. Of course, most young adults fall somewhere between the extremes of immediate and complete financial independence and lifelong dependency. A South Florida family law attorney can help you and your ex-spouse resolve disputes related to your young adult children.
When You Financially Support Your Grown Children, but Your Ex-Spouse Doesn’t
In general, Florida’s family courts consider money that you spend in support of your children after they have turned 18 a discretionary expense. For example, if you put some of your earnings toward your child’s college tuition payments, the court does not consider this a necessary expense; you are choosing to use your money this way. If you did not do this, your child would still have other options, such as working, taking out additional student loans, or attending a less expensive university. In the case of a couple that borrowed money before their divorce to pay for their son’s college education, the court considered those loans marital debts and divided them equitably.
If you have the means to help your young adult children pay for healthcare, you might think it unconscionable to hold your 18-year-old son or daughter financially responsible for his or her own healthcare, but the family courts do not see it that way. Consider the case of Carlton Dixon and his ex-wife Sandra Pfundheller. They divorced when their children were minors, and when their oldest child turned 18, Sandra continued to pay for treatment to manage his diabetes. Carlton still owed back child support when the children reached adulthood, and the parties disagreed on how much he owed. Sandra wanted to assign part of the ongoing cost of treatment for the oldest child’s diabetes to Carlton, but the court ruled that Carlton did not have any obligation to pay for his adult son’s medical expenses.
Contact Us Today for Help
Disputes with your ex-spouse about child support can continue even after your children grow up, but a Boca Raton child support lawyer can help you resolve them. Contact Schwartz | White for a consultation on your case.