Understanding Post-Secondary Child Support

Posted on: 21 December 2018

Child support is a concern many parents have when they divorce or go to court regarding custody or visitation. In some cases, a judge may award that one parent pays post-secondary child support. If you have never heard of this term, you might be confused about what this means.

Essentially, post-secondary child support is essentially court-ordered payments toward a child's expenses toward college, trade school, vocational school, or graduate school. Some parents agree that each will put money toward post-secondary educational expenses, but in some cases a judge orders it or it is part of a divorce settlement.

Are you curious about this type of child support? Keep reading to learn more.

How Does Post-Secondary Child Support Differ from Regular Child Support?

Most cases of child support end when the child either turns 18 or graduates from high school. Post-secondary child support goes beyond this, calling for the parent to continue paying after this. In consideration of cases like these, the court will consider the child's level of dependence on one or both parents. If one parent is doing more heavy lifting than the other, the judge may determine that the other will contribute to post-secondary support.

The division of post-secondary child support is not much different from the division of traditional child support. The court will consider the income and means of each parent in addition to regular living expenses. The court will consider the most fair contribution for each parent based on their incomes, expenses, and other financial obligations.

Does Post-Secondary Child Support Come with Conditions?

In order for the financial obligation to continue, the child may have to abide by specific conditions. For instance, the child must remain enrolled at an accredited institution. They must also maintain good academic standing, which typically relies on GPA or minimum course hours. Additionally, the court may determine that the parents have full access to the child's grades via Internet.

Each state has different age restrictions on post-secondary child support as well. Parents are not ordered to continue paying once a child reaches a certain age, even if he or she does not have a job or has yet to graduate.

Do you believe your child's parent should pay post-secondary child support? This is something to consider for your child's future, but every case is different. Talk to a child custody or child support lawyer today to see if this is an option for your child.