You were once two youngsters in love. You built a life and raised a family together. But things have changed over the past few years. You now realize that growing old together is not in the cards. Now that you know your marriage is over, the only thing left to do is file the divorce papers.
You want to move on with the second half of your life, but the split is amicable. Would it be better to wait until the kids are 18 to proceed with the separation? With adult children, divorces can sometimes be more straightforward.
Child support payments would stop at age 18
In California, any court-ordered child support will stop when a juvenile turns 18. Courts may extend payments to age 19 if they have not yet graduated high school.
Child custody issues would not be a factor
Waiting until the children are adults means there would be no legal custody issues. You can settle visitation matters privately between family members rather than an ugly court battle.
Circumstances differ for special needs children
If your children have special needs, their age may not matter when considering custody and child allowance issues. Depending on the circumstances, a judge may decide that payments should continue indefinitely for disabled dependents who cannot take care of themselves.
Divorce is always a difficult time for a family. Waiting until the kids are 18 may make sense from a paperwork perspective. But the stress on the family caused by waiting may complicate matters.