Thursday, March 06, 2008

Big Kid Support

There's currently a bill in the state legislature that would lengthen child support to age 21. Current law terminates child support obligations upon age 18 and the graduation of high school.

The future Mrs. lonely libertarian and I have debated this issue before and I know she'd be fully in favor of this bill. College is expensive and generally, kids need help getting their adult lives started. Here's my problem- the bill applies only to non-custodial parents paying child support. Or in other words, children from families of divorce could, by law, receive support until they turn 21, whereas children from intact families could be thrown out on the street at age 18 with no legal recourse.

I understand the thought process behind the bill- divorce can be contentious and it just plain sucks when one parent walks out, leaving the other left with the responsibility of supporting a child through college. But if child support is supposed to be about the child, then it makes little sense to distinguish support on the circumstances of the parents. Imagine a situation where parents disagree over financial support of adult children and lets also say that most of the money happens to be in one parent's name. If the parents stay together, the money controlling parent could deny all support for their children after age 18. But if they get divorced, the children would receive support to age 21. It just doesn't make any sense to me and it doesn't seem to jive with the notion that child support is supposed to be about the child.


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