My decree includes a provision to pay 50 percent of my daughter’s college expenses.
Can I modify my agreement to pay the support directly to her instead of my ex?
In Virginia, where I practice, the duty of child support ends when the child turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever occurs later. However, parents in Virginia are free to agree to pay support during college or for a portion of the college expenses.
If both parties agree to that in Virginia, the court has little jurisdiction to make modifications to that agreement. In other states, the duty of support continues while the child is enrolled in a higher education program.
If you have a provision in your Final Decree of Divorce that obligates you to pay 50 percent of your daughter’s college expenses, you should review that with an attorney licensed in your state.
If the way the provision is drafted makes those payments more like support, meaning the money is paid to your ex-wife, then your payments may be considered child support and a judge probably would not allow you to pay that directly to your daughter.
However, if your provision is drafted in way that simply states you are responsible for 50 percent of her college expenses, you may have a stronger argument that you should be able to pay that into an account for your daughter or directly to her school for tuition, room and board or other costs.
Child support really varies from state-to-state, so I recommend that you speak with an attorney in your jurisdiction.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than tips on your situation, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your potential case.
To arrange an initial consultation to discuss divorce rights for men with a Cordell & Cordell attorney in Virginia, contact Cordell & Cordell.
Mat Camp is a former Lexicon Services Online Editor, who focused on providing a comprehensive look into all aspects of the divorce experience. On MensDivorce.com, he concentrated on issues, such as parenting time, custodial rights, mediation, the division of assets, and so much more.
Mr. Camp used the wealth of experience of Cordell & Cordell attorneys to bring tangible answers to reader questions in Ask a Lawyer articles, as well as offer a step by step process through the divorce experience with Cordell & Cordell Co-Founder and Principal Partner Joseph E. Cordell in Divorce 101: A Guide for Men.
Mr. Camp used thorough research to highlight the challenging reality that those who go through divorce or child custody issues face. He helped foster the continued success of the Men’s Divorce Survival Guide, the Men’s Divorce Podcast, and the Men’s Divorce YouTube series “Attorney Bites.”