Who Pays for the 'Boomerang Generation'?: A Legal Perspective on Financial Support for Young Adults

62 Pages Posted: 23 May 2014

Date Written: March 1, 2014


Because of a variety of economic and social factors, the transition from adolescence to self-sufficient adulthood takes much longer today than in the past. Therefore, the expectation that children will become financially independent upon reaching the age of majority is increasingly unrealistic. Parental support is often crucial to enable young adults to achieve long-term financial security.

Among parents who are divorced, separated or never married, mothers pay a disproportionate share of support for young adult children. This trend threatens to exacerbate single mothers’ financial disadvantages.

Unlike the law in many other countries, family law in the United States generally does not permit a child support order for a child who is past the age of majority. Some states allow exceptions to this rule, but only if the adult child is disabled or enrolled in higher education. This article argues that child support orders should be more broadly available for young adults who are past the age of majority but not yet financially independent.

Keywords: child support, adult children, emerging adults, divorce, single mothers, age of majority, parental support, transition to adulthood

Suggested Citation

Goldfarb, Sally F., Who Pays for the 'Boomerang Generation'?: A Legal Perspective on Financial Support for Young Adults (March 1, 2014). Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, Vol. 37, p. 45, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2440170

Sally F. Goldfarb (Contact Author)

Rutgers School of Law-Camden ( email )

United States

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