Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Will My Spouse Be Required To Pay For College Expenses For Our Children If We Divorce?

No, the Georgia Courts do not require child support to continue through college. “The duty to provide support for a minor child shall continue until the child reaches the age of majority, dies, marries, or becomes emancipated, whichever first occurs.” O.C.G.A. § 19-6-15(e). Child support generally ends at age 18, but can be continued through age 19 if the child is still in high school. The Courts do not Order child support past the age of 19 unless the parties agree in clear written language.

The Georgia Commission on Child Support was formed to establish and regularly review, “child support guidelines, development and maintenance of the Georgia Child Support Calculator, recommending legislation, providing training throughout the State to judges, attorneys, and the public, and many other duties.” http://csc.georgiacourts.gov/. This Commission ensures that child support is standard across the entire state of Georgia.

Any variation on the standard child support duty must be agreed to by both parties and be expressed in a clearly written document consented to and approved by both parties. Parties may agree that the child support amount will continue through college or trade school age, while other parties may agree to split the fees associated with the higher education. Additional child support past the state minimum duty must be agreed upon by both parties and will not be approved by the Court without both parties written and signed consent. Shared college expenses for minor children is not common when parties divorce and if not previously discussed and agreed to by the parties it is not granted by the Court in the State of Georgia.

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