The persistence of the support payment when children are of legal age -in Spain, 18 years old- is characterized by two facts: cohabitation in family home and lack of economic independence. Therefore, when one of them is not met, the support payment may be extinguished.

Art. 237-13 of the Catalan Civil Code establishes the causes for which the obligation of the support payment can be extinguished and, among them, its sections d) and e) should be emphasised. That is, “(d) The improvement in the living conditions of the one who receives the payment, that made unnecessary the support payment and (e) If the one who is receiving it, even if it does not have the condition of legitimary, incur in some of the causes of disinheritance established by art. 451-17”. Nevertheless, that last clause of letter e) has no effect if there is reconciliation of the parties or the pardon of the one obliged to pay.

Regarding the disinheritance causes, art. 451-17.2 of the Catalan Civil Code establishes in its letter (e) that it is a cause of disinheritance “The manifested and continuous absence of family relationship between the causative and the legitimary, if it is for a cause exclusively attributable to the legitimary”. Moreover, the Supreme Court judgement 104/2019, of 19 February, contemplates the extinction of the support payment as long as the children are of legal age and there is a manifest lack of relationship between them and the providing parent for reasons mainly attributable to the children.

In addition, the Supreme Court has also considered that the support payment should be extinguished in cases in which children of legal age, despite being in working age, neither work or take advantage of studies for reasons attributable to them. Instead, the support payment has to remain when children continue to studying, are diligent, take advantage of their formative period academically and lack of economic independence.

Therefore, it will be possible to extinguish the support payment of children of legal age when they do not live in the familiar residence or they have economic independence or there is a lack of relevant and intense relationship between the parent and the children being this lack attributable mainly to the children or, even though they are of working age, they neither work nor take advantage of their studies for reasons attributable to them.

Susana Rodríguez

Author Susana Rodríguez

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