Legal Characteristics for Legal Age Children
In recent decades, children have taken their parents to court for child support. Likewise, some parents have taken their children to court to request the opposite: stop supporting their legal age children.
These situations are a reflection of something that’s happening around the world. Grown-ups who don’t work and don’t study. This is a result of the difficult economic situation that makes it harder and more expensive for children to move out and be independent.
This type of situation also makes parents provide for their children for longer than expected. In this article, we’ll review some of the legal characteristics of children of legal age.
Parents are obliged to assist their children, legal or out of wedlock, during their underage status and in other legal situations that require it. Children who aren’t legally emancipated, are under their parents’ parental authority.
Parental authority involves certain rights and obligations. For example, parents are obliged to look after their children, keep them company, feed them, provide them with an education, etc.
If the children’s parents divorce or separate, a judge will determine how the parents will fulfill these needs, which are known as child support.
Parental authority and legal age
When children reach 18 years of age, parental authority ends. This means that the set of rights and obligations that parents have over their minor children has ended.
However, there are some exceptions. One involves emancipated children – those whose parental authority ended with their emancipation, even if the children are minors. There’s also the case when children are considered disabled, in which case parental authority can continue after their 18th birthday.
Are parents obliged to keep supporting their adult children?
The law states that the legal age ends with the parent’s authority, but they still have many obligations as parents. In a way, the parental duty of providing food, care, and protection to their children ends when they become economically independent.
Nowadays, many youngsters find it hard to become independent and stay with their parents for longer. Thus, their parents’ duties extend well beyond their children’s 18th birthday.
This obligation is demanded by law. This means that if a child of legal age is still living with his parents and isn’t economically independent, then he can take his parents to court if his parents no longer wish to support him.
When can children of legal age claim child support from their parents?
The law states that children of legal age still have a right to child support if they require it. However, there are some aspects to take into account.
The need for child support can’t be attributable to the legal age child. This means that this need can’t be a consequence of the child’s irresponsible ways.
If some disputes make it to court, judges will then take into account if the children are looking for a job or if they’re currently studying. The legal age child needs to prove that he’s done everything he can to overcome times of need.
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- BOE. (2015). Ley 26/2015, de 28 de julio, de modificación del sistema de protección a la infancia y a la adolescencia. Extraído de: https://www.boe.es/buscar/pdf/2015/BOE-A-2015-8470-consolidado.pdf
- Isaac RAVETLLAT BALLESTÉ. (2015). Universidad de Talca (Chile) LA MAYORÍA DE EDAD CIVIL EN EL ORDENAMIENTO JURÍDICO CIVIL ESPAÑOL. Extraído de: http://revistaseug.ugr.es/index.php/acfs/article/viewFile/3280/3308
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