Most payments from one party to the other for expenses involving a minor child are considered “child support”. A child is considered to be a “minor” and under the jurisdiction of the Court until that child is 18. Child support can continue until the child reaches the age of 19 ½ if the child is regularly attending high school full time, has a reasonable expectation of graduating from high school and is living full-time with the person receiving the child support. The Court lacks jurisdiction to force a non-custodial parent to pay anything with respect to the child after the child is no longer considered a minor, including tuition. You and your ex-spouse can, however, agree to pay for the college tuition for your child. The Court treats this type of agreement as a Contract and will enforce it Such an agreement, in the context of a Judgment of Divorce, requires “a clear contract between the parties, on the record or in the Divorce Judgment in which one party agrees to pay post-majority support between the parties.” My best advice to you is make sure that your intentions with regard to college tuition, or any other post-majority support issues, are clearly worded in an enforceable document. I can help make sure that happens. Call me.
Michael Olson is a partner with the law firm of Matecun, Thomas & Olson, PLC in Howell. He answers readers’ questions on legal matters affecting individuals, their families and their businesses. Email questions to [email protected], or if your question is urgent, call (517) 548-7400. The information in this column is not intended as legal advice.