Post-Secondary Education Support

Child support is a major issue in divorce proceedings. Normally, child support payments stop when the child turns 18 or graduates high school. However, did you know your child can receive payments throughout college? Child support that continues past the age of 18 is known as post-secondary education support.

It’s expensive to attend college nowadays. The cost of dorms, textbooks, and tuition has skyrocketed over the last ten years. You may want to look into filing a petition for post-secondary education support for your child. Your child may be able to receive child support throughout their college career. If your child support is about to expire, contact an experienced divorce attorney today. 

Attorney for Post-Secondary Education Support in King County, WA

The child support your child was receiving may have worked up until now, but what about after graduation? It may be beneficial for you to look into filing a petition for post-secondary education support. If granted, your child could receive child support payments throughout college, trade school or vocational school. 

Contact the attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson today to have your case evaluated. Our attorneys have years of experience representing clients in child support negotiations. We can use our knowledge and skills to get the agreement you want. Call us now at (206) 712-2756 to schedule a free consultation. 

Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson practices law throughout the greater King County area including Burien, Shoreline, Redmon and Seattle. We also represent clients in other areas including Everett in Snohomish County.

Overview of Post-Secondary Education Support


How Does Post-Secondary Education Support Work?

A child can continue to receive child support payments after graduating high school. This is referred to as post-secondary education support. Post-secondary education support can be determined in two ways. It can be included in the child support order or filed later as a petition to modify the order. . 

Many couples arrange for post-secondary education support in their initial child support order. They may split the expenses or chart out future payments by one of the spouses. However, some couples delay planning for college. If this is the case, it’s recommended that a petition for post-secondary education support be filed. If you delay, you may lose the chance to ever get an order for post-secondary support.  

The court will look at several factors when determining post-secondary education support. Some of these factors include the child’s financial situation and what type of education they are pursuing. If post-secondary child support is granted, the child will receive payments throughout their college career. These payments could be for tuition, textbooks, housing or other relevant costs. 


Factors for Determining Post-Secondary Education Support

If you file a petition for post-secondary education support, you must appear in front of a judge. The judge will look at various factors to determine if post-secondary education support is necessary. After the judge has assessed the situation they will decide whether continued support is needed. 

The factors the court will use when determining post-secondary education support include: 

  • The child’s age;
  • The financial needs of the child;
  • The expectations of the parents for the child’s post-secondary education;
  • The child’s abilities, disabilities and desires for the future;
  • The type of education the child is pursuing;
  • Each spouse’s resources, living conditions and education;
  • The financial support the child could have had if both spouses were still married. 

Conditions for Post-Secondary Child Support

Certain conditions must be met to receive post-secondary education support. The child must also maintain certain requirements during schooling to receive payments. If the child doesn’t fulfill these requirements, they may have their child support taken away. 

To receive post-secondary education support the child must:

  • Be enrolled in an accredited educational institution;
  • Be proactively pursuing their career goals;
  • Maintain a good academic standing at their school; and
  • Provide both parents complete access to all academic records.

Good academic standing is defined by the school. Typically, a minimum GPA of 2.0 or a minimum number of credits puts a person in good academic standing. Once the child turns 23 the court cannot order any more payments.


Additional Resources

Washington College Access Network – Visit the official website for the Washington College Access Network (WCAN) a statewide collection of professionals who help low-income students pursue a post-secondary education. Find more information about colleges near you, how to apply to college and resources for new students.

Child Support Modification Rule – Visit the official website for Washington State Legislature to find more information about child support modification. Access the site to learn about how child support is modified or terminated. 


Lawyer for Post-Secondary Child Support in Seattle, Washington

Does your child wish to attend college, trade school or vocational school? Is their child support about to expire? If so, it’s highly recommended that you contact an experienced divorce attorney. An attorney can evaluate your case to see if your child qualifies for post-secondary education support.

Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson has years of experience representing clients in divorce proceedings. We have the resources, knowledge and skills necessary to negotiate your child support terms. Start planning for your child’s future now. Call us at (206) 712-2756 to schedule a free consultation. 

The attorneys at Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson accept clients throughout the greater Seattle area including Sammamish, Issaquah, Renton and Kent.  


This article was last updated on December 18, 2018.

 

 

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