*States that allow college expenses to be included in child support order (updated August 2021)
Economic court order support beyond the majority age
If parents cannot agree on matters of child support, one can file a case seeking support for their child. In this case, the court will issue an order defining the obligation of each parent. The most complex issue that arises is defining the party responsible for providing economic support, including the education of that child.
Until recently, courts could define the parents’ financial obligations until a child reached the majority age. The definition of the age of majority depends on the state law but it is at least 18-years in general or until high school graduation.
However, some states allow courts to order parents to cater for the child’s college education. The extent of college tuition obligation varies from one state to another. Sometimes, a court may be allowed to issue an order to a parent to meet post-high school education expenses for a limited duration.
Many states don’t have clear court rulings or statutes allowing a court to order a parent to pay for their child’s college education. Other states prohibit courts from issuing directives asking parents to cater for their children’s college expenses beyond the age of majority.
In case the statutes in your state are not clear, get your children to study and make them understand the importance of education. Whether the state laws allow for court-ordered tuition payment obligations or not, it can enforce the agreement terms to be adhered to by both parents.
Financial aid and support orders
The parents should consider how the child’s support and custody will influence federal financial aid applications. For the sake of financial aid evaluation, the parent who lived with the child for the longest time is regarded as the custodial parent.
The income of the custodial parent is the basis of establishing the federal aid a child qualifies for. If that parent is supported financially by the non-custodial parent, the aid will be considered in the child’s financial aid obligation.
If the financial aid from the federal government is sufficient and your child is unable to complete the assignments, advise them to seek writing help.
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