Child support is paid by you to your ex-spouse to support your child's development. It is supposed to pay for things like healthcare, food, extracurricular activities and school expenses. Most people think that child support payments end once a child turns 18, after all they aren't a minor anymore. But support obligations only end once your child is "emancipated." Emancipation can occur after high school, after college or even after graduate school. This post will go over child support obligations through early adulthood.
Child support is calculated by comparing how much you and your ex-spouse can pay. When your child turns 18, the courts also consider your child's ability to support him or herself. Support is a variety of income or financial sources. Regarding school, support can include grants, fellowships, scholarships and loans as well as traditional incomes like from a job or inheritance.
For example, if your child wins a full ride to attend school – then your support may be limited by what the scholarship does not cover, perhaps room and board. But if your child is unable to secure loans, then it is possible your child support could include tuition expenses.
How much of your child support is based upon tuition? For instance, what if your child gets into an expensive private college and a comparable public school and chooses to attend the private school? Are you forced to pay support based upon the private college even though there is a comparable public school? You can try to get your obligation based upon the public tuition amount however it depends upon a variety of factors. For example, the court will likely consider your and your ex-spouses education. If you or your ex-spouse attended a private school, then the court is less likely to grant reprieve.
Child support for young adults can be and is ordered quite frequently, especially if your child attends college or a technical school. If your child is entering college then you may want to speak to an attorney. You will need to prepare and file paperwork months before your child graduates high school, so it is best to start preparing as early as possible.