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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 11-30-2009, 09:25 PM
Macki Macki is offline
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Default Post secondary and CS issues...

OK so here's the back story:

My husband and his 1st wife have divorced. We went to court to have child support lowered to reflect his income as the ex was demanding more than double of what the guidelines stated. A final order was issued by the courts stating the following in part:

The Applicant shall pay to the Respondent for the support of the children under the age of majority the sum of $xxx each month in accordance with the Child Support Table for the Province of Ontario commencing on the 16th day of January, 2006 and on the 16th day of each month thereafter.

There was no further mention of support of any kind in the rest of the order - it dealt with back support, special expenses (orthodontics) and primary residence.

So this brings us to our current situation. The oldest turned 18 in June. She graduated high school in June. She went back to HS for 1st semester for a co-op program and is holding 2 part time jobs. She is done 1st semester at the end of December and has applied to college to begin in September. Until then, she plans on finding full time employment - or getting FT hours from one of her current PT jobs. She will remain living at home with her mother while in college - should she be accepted.

She has decided in her infinite teenage wisdom that she does not want to apply for student funding of any kind and feels that we should help pay her education. We cannot afford this, as much as we would like to.

The question that we are wondering about in the end is this: does child support continue for her even though she is of the age of majority? She is taking more than 2 months off in between schools - closer to 9 months in all actuality. I do believe that she could have started her program sooner - possibly even this last September had she not gone back to HS for a co-op program.

Any insight into this dilemma is greatly appreciated and if I could find actual documentation to back us it would be wonderful. Thanks for your help...
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:42 AM
NoahsDaddy NoahsDaddy is offline
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Child support can be continued while the child is attending post-secondary school; most often for their first degree/diploma only. However, for something like this, whatever the child is going to contribute would be built into the shared expenses calculation along with both your husband and his ex' proportionate shares. Now, if the child takes a year off and then decides to go, after you've ceased paying CS, I'm not sure how exactly that would play out.

You mention that she has 2 PT jobs and the potential for some full-time work. Is she willing to contribute? If she's living at home with Mom, you'd think that she'd be able to help out...even just a little.

Since post-secondary education falls under the category of Section 7 expenses, your husbands' ex would also have to contribute towards this...his daughter (nor his ex) can demand that he pay the entire cost. Friends of my family have gone through something like this and ended up, essentially, going to court and telling them that they just didn't have the money to contribute to some of the extravagant expenses the childs' mother was incurring and, believe it or not, they were not ordered to do so.

The post-secondary school issue is one that I really think the government needs to revisit at some point. There are many families out there who cannot afford to send their children to college or university (to quote you) as much as they'd like to...and they are not spending many years prior to that incurring large child support payments. I fail to understand how it works that, because a child has two parents that are not together, they automatically get their college/university paid for. On the flipside of that, if a child has two parents that are together, there is no guarantee that someone will be able to fork out the cost of college/university.

I really don't think this teaches children/young people anything about responsibility and working hard. I look at myself - when I went to University, my parents were not in a position to help me out at all. I worked two jobs during the summer and was still working 30 hours a week while I was in school to pay for it. While working so much and attending school full-time proved difficult, it definitely created a different sense of dedication to my schooling. When you give up your entire summer to work and pay for school, in my opinion, you're a little less likely to screw around on your own dollar...a little different than having Mommy & Daddy hand you a cheque.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to be in a position to help my son if he decides to further his education. Realistically though, it just may not be feasible.
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