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Child Support: Determining If There Is A Legal Obligation To Pay For College Expenses

The Law Office of David P. Schwarz provides a full-service legal counsel in Orange County, helping clients going through divorce. One area of divorce that often presents a problem for parents is whether a parent has to pay for the child’s college education. Please contact our attorneys at Law Office of David P. Schwarz at 949-296-4119 for a consultation, or contact us via the web.

Child support is a hotly contested issue during the Orange County divorce process. Parents often contest the timeshare between each parent and want to know how much money each parent earns. When a child reaches the age of majority, usually 18 under the family code, child support stops.

The law states that the child support obligation continues for an unmarried child who is 18 years old and who attends high school full time as a student and cannot support themselves. However when a child graduates high school or turns 19, child support terminates.

An unanswered question in Orange County courts is whether a child continuing on to higher education can have a parent legally obligated to pay for their tuition. An experienced child support lawyer can assist you in this legal issue.

In Childers v. Childers, a Washington state case, the court ordered that the lower court order father to pay support for the adult children while they were attending college, and the Supreme Court of Washington upheld the order, explaining that under the state’s dissolution act the court had discretion to order child support for a “dependent” adult child.

However, the Washington case does not apply to the Orange County court system. An Orange County child support lawyer will be able to argue that in Orange County, California, the child support obligation normally ends when the child reaches 18 years of age and that parents have no legal obligation to pay for the college education of an adult child.

At the Law Office of David P. Schwarz, our child support attorneys also can help a parent enter into a binding child support agreement where the child who is over 18 years of age will have his or her college tuition and expenses paid for by both parents. This will be enforced by an Orange County court under family code section 3587.

It is apparent that an attorney cannot statutorily force a parent to pay for college tuition in Orange County. although it would be beneficial for that child after the age of 18. It would seem that the parents should in the best interest of the child enter into a joint stipulation to provide for the child’s college education once they turn 18 years of age.

We Have Experience Handling All Types Of Child Support Issues. Contact Us.

At the Law Office of David P. Schwarz, we handle all Orange County cases dealing with child support issues when the child reaches majority. Please contact our office to further discuss these issues at 949-296-4119 or contact us online.