Many divorced dads have an extra reason to celebrate when their child turns 18. That’s because many states say fathers no longer have to pay child support once their son or daughter turns 18 (or 19 or 21 in some states).
To the shock of some unknowing dads, requirements for support can be extended so that their child will able to go to college. It’s called “post secondary educational support.”
Requirements Vary by State
Each state has its own set of rules for non-custodial parents to continue paying so that the child can attend college.
For example, in California, the requirement to pay child support generally ends when the child reaches their 18th birthday. The support may be continued while the child is a full time high school student until they reach their 19th birthday or complete the 12th grade – whichever comes first.
Take a look at South Carolina for the opposite end of the spectrum. In the Palmetto State, a family court judge can retroactively require a parent to help out with college costs if:
- There are indications that the child will benefit by attending college
- The child has demonstrated that he/she has what it takes to at least make passing grades
- College will not be possible for the child without the support
- The non-custodial parent has the financial means to help pay for a college education
The states that have provisions for extending support through a child’s college years are: Alabama, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah and Washington.
For Child Support and Other Divorce-Related Issues, Let the Men’s Legal Center Fight for Your Rights
We’re not revealing any secrets when we say divorce can trigger huge financial burdens for fathers. The requirements for paying alimony and child support can quickly turn into crippling financial debt.
If you’re thinking of divorce or have already been served with papers, it’s imperative that you have expert legal representation fighting for your rights.