At what age do you become an adult? While science and sociology have varying answers on the subject, some might say that some people never get there anyway. Nevertheless, from a legal point of view, a date had to be determined. Thus, after having been fixed for a long time at 21 years, the majority was lowered to 18 years in 1974 in France. This pivotal age is therefore synonymous with independence.
In the eyes of the law, the adolescent is in fact considered “capable”, in other words he can exercise his rights, in particular that of voting or driving, and perform legal acts without the consent of a legal representative. But although parental authority also ceases to apply at the age of 18, certain obligations remain from a financial point of view.
Alimony can last
Up to now, has your ex-spouse paid alimony to help you educate your child and intends to stop it when he turns 18? He doesn’t have the right. The law places an obligation on parents to maintain their descendants and its termination is not a question of age but of need, under article 371-2 of the Civil Code. Therefore, child support does not automatically end when the child comes of age. It all depends on how the latter leads his boat.
As soon as he pursues studies, takes training or even looks for work – in other words, he cannot face his own needs on his own – not to mention situations of illness or illness. severe handicap, his parents are required to support him financially. It should be noted, moreover, that if the adolescent leaves the family bosom during this period to take his own apartment, it is he who will directly receive the alimony which is intended for him. The parent who housed him until then must also contribute to this envelope, in proportion to his resources.
But this family help has limits. It ceases in fact as soon as the young adult is financially independent. Except that this autonomy is not always easy to determine … Can income from work-study training or odd student jobs, for example, justify a reduction in child support? In the event of a conflict, it is the family court judge who can decide.
What do you give?
Student loan, credit to afford your first car, deposit for a small studio … Entering adulthood often rhymes with a myriad of expenses that it is not always easy to assume. Can a young adult then count on his parents to pay off his bills? Well no ! From the age of 18, any capable person is responsible for the debts they contract and must assume their commitments alone. From the point of view of the law, an expensive teenager can then only blame himself if he accumulates slates everywhere, even if it means being condemned by a judgment to reimburse them.
As an exception to the rule, his parents may be required to take charge of his debts if they have contracted to pay them off. This is particularly the case when they stand surety for the accommodation of their older child. If the latter is late or commits unpaid bills, the lessor is then entitled to turn against them. Same thing if they have guaranteed a loan.
The Tanguy case
The obligation to feed, maintain and bring up children knows only rare exceptions, systematically evaluated by a judge. It takes an extreme case, such as a teenager physically martyring his parents for example, so that the latter can be relieved of their duties.
Nowadays, it is more common to see adults of full age staying in the family home until old age and sometimes even returning there much later. Is it possible to put them outside? At the movie theater, Tanguy had received the approval of a judge to prevent his parents from deporting him … In reality, however, nothing obliges them to host to eternal life their adult child. Their only duty is not to leave him completely helpless. If he persists in remaining idle within the family bosom long after his majority, it will be the last resort the judge who can put the points on the i’s.