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  • child support over age of 18

    Hi everyone,

    I think I read it million times everywhere that child support doesn't end at the age of 18, if child decides to get post secondary education, until they reach their first degree.

    Now, let's imagine hypothetical scenario you have a kid that accepted at uni, but pursues career that you don't want him to, or just becomes a party guy, and never earns a degree. I do understand support obligations which unfortunately don't follow strict rules, like everything else in Family Law, but these are my money, and in not divorced family if you don't approve how adult kid behaves, you have some leverage. In case of a divorce if kid spends 3,000 on beer instead of books, and lives with another parent, can you do anything?

    What if kid didn't go to uni right after school, but goes there before age of 22? Would child support/uni fees will start from 22, till "child" is 26-27? What if you are retired by then? Are they gonna come after your $450 a months pension?

    Thank you

  • #2
    It is dependent in the case. It will look at what the child was doing in those years, did they earn money, were they pursuing a different path etc. If they had some sort of issue like not enough money to go before 22, you may have to pay. If they chose to do nothing but party you probably wouldnít have to pay. It is not a simple yes or no answer. The entire matter would have to be looked at and all factors considered. More than likely the answer would be no they aged out of the support but an argument could still be made.

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    • #3
      thank you. What about cases they haven't aged, but in some sort of post secondary, but you aren't involved? Who pays for it, are there limits? If kid decides going to Harvard, it could easily get above financial abilities for most. Do you have a say where they can study or how much you can contribute?
      With child support there is a least some formula, but higher ed cost could be way more than CS.

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      • #4
        Just as an FYI... Children, who's parents are not "divorced" can indeed bring their parents to court to have their college paid for in part by their parents. The only difference is that most of them don't know and don't have the financial means to retain counsel.

        But, there is case law where a child of non-divorced parents got school paid for in part by the parents.

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        • #5
          You donít have a say in where they go but you do get to argue their choice of schools when it comes to costs. If there is an equivalent program of study at a more reasonable cost closer to home, you pay your share of that cost not the share of the actual cost. The judge in my husbands case told his ex that if kid goes away because they want to live across the country, they pay a bigger portion of the cost as that is unreasonable.

          Now Harvard may be a different beast. Not many people get into their programs and if your child was elite and the education will lead to a better paying job then an argument could be made to pay a share of that cost but again, itís a crapshoot.

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          • #6
            There is a community college for few grand a year and there is Harvard for about 75k a year.
            It isn't a big secret that finances are ruined in divorce often times because of the legal fees, especially for the paying parent, but even without a divorce, if you earn say 50k a year, you can't afford that Harvard even if you will double your hours to 80 a week. So, is there a formula/limit etc. how much you can pay? With the divorce if you paying support, often times you left with no money for anything even without uni

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            • #7
              There is no formula or limit. University is a section 7 expense and one that is required (along with health costs and day care). Many couple who canít agree need a judge to decide for them. So you both have to be reasonable and kid has to pony up. What is expected is kid will pay one third of the cost. The remaining portion is determined either through mediation or court.

              A community college is not a comparison to Harvard. You canít spitball on this one. If your kid is planning to apply to Harvard there better be a good reason to attend that over a Canadian university. Not to mention there are better options for grants and scholarships at a Canadian school.

              There is no easy answer to this question. You donít get a say on where kid goes and you do have to pay a portion of reasonable expenses for school. You may need a judge to help decide what that amount is when it comes down to it.

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