What a strange and difficult year 2020 has been for families!
Determining whether to home school children or send them back to a face to face learning environment in the midst of a pandemic has been challenging. Loss of earnings and stability has been something parents and children alike have been forced to handle. And through it all, parents have the obligation to emotionally and financially support their minor children, even when they are struggling to keep it together themselves.
The Texas Family Code requires parents to financially support their children until they are 18 or if the child is enrolled in an accredited program leading to a high school diploma in accordance with the Texas Education Code guidelines listed in Chapter 25, until graduation, whichever is later.
What happens when a child is 18 and not participating in school at all?
When the 18 year old is skipping school, refusing to log in and participate in asynchronous learning days? When they fail their classes? According to the Court of Appeals in Beaumont, In the Interest of B.Y., child support should terminate in such a situation on the child’s 18th birthday. Under the Texas Education Code, a student cannot be given credit for a class or receive a final grade unless they are in attendance for at least 90 percent of the days the class is offered. Without complying with the guidelines for attendance in school, regardless of whether the child is enrolled in school, child support should not be required for an 18 year old who is capable of working and supporting himself or herself. A motion to terminate child support filed with the Court of continuing jurisdiction should result in the termination of support to that child.