What is the cutoff age for legal children in British Columbia?

Residents of British Columbia will find that child support issues are governed by either the Family Law Act or the Divorce Act, depending on the situation. Naturally, the Divorce Act is used for couples who were married and then split up, or who are still married and may divorce. The Family Law Act is for couples who may be married, but it’s also for those who aren’t married and have children or who have been living with one another for 24 months.

Under both of these acts, it is stated that children of the marriage are entitled to a certain amount of support. The cutoff age for a “child” in each case is 19. Anyone who is under this age could be legally counted as a child and given the benefit of support payments.

Anyone at or over this age is said to have reached the age of majority.

There is an exception to this rule, and it deals with children who are still dependent on their parents. They can still legally count as children even if they are 19 or older.

Dependency can be determined due to a number of things, such as a disability — either physical or mental — that may mean a child will never be able to leave the family home. A serious illness could also make the child dependent. In some cases, children who are still attending school can count as dependents if they have not yet moved out of the house.

When deciding how much child support is needed, it’s very important to understand all of the little intricacies of the law.

Source: People’s Law School, “Child Support in BC,” accessed June 18, 2015

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