Both parents, to the extent of their ability, have an equal responsibility to support a child, whether a minor or an adult, “who is incapacitated from earning a living and without sufficient means.” [Fam.C. § 3910(a); see also Marriage of Drake (2015) 241 CA4th 934, 940, 194 CR3d 252, 257] The obligation to support the adult incapacitated child runs to the incapacitated child. Consequently, a parent’s duty continues despite the other parent’s death. Like the duty to support minor children a parent’s obligation is enforceable in any marital proceeding or other action under Family Code where child support is an issue.
An adult child is owed a support duty only if he or she is both “incapacitated from earning a living” and “without sufficient means.” The statutory purpose is to protect the public from the burden of supporting a person whose parents are able to do so. Cases conclude a child is “incapacitated from earning a living” for § 3910(a) support purposes only upon proof of a mental or physical disability preventing the child from being able to work; or, at least proof of inability to find a job due to factors beyond the child’s control. [Jones v. Jones (1986) 179 CA3d 1011, 1014-1015, 225 CR 95, 97; see Marriage of Drake (1997) 53 CA4th 1139, 1154, 62 CR2d 466, 476-477(chronic paranoid schizophrenia); Chun v. Chun (1987) 190 CA3d 589, 595, 235 CR 553, 556-557 (“emotionally disabled” adult child with 12-year-old maturity level). Moreover, “the incapacity standards require courts to focus not on the adult child’s conditions and their potential impact on employment, but rather on his or her ability to find work or become self-supporting in light of such conditions.” [Marriage of Cecilia & David W. (2015) 241 CA4th 1277, 1286, 194 CR3d 559, 566.
At the Law Office of Diane M. Itzenhauser, APC, we provide experienced representation in a broad range of family law matters, including those pertaining to adult incapacitated child support. If you have questions about adult incapacitated child support, contact our law firm today at 805-544-2323 to discuss your case with an experienced San Luis Obispo family law lawyer.