How is the child support amount determined for a child over 18 years old going to college in Massechusetts?

From the child support Guideline of MA, it says: In establishing support orders for children over age 18, to the extent permitted by law, the Court shall exercise its discretion considering the reason for the continued residence with and dependence on the Recipient, the child’s academic circumstances, living situation, the available resources of the parents, the costs of postsecondary education for the child and the allocation of those costs between the parents, and the availability of financial aid. However, I was told the child support amount should follow the formula in the child support guideline. If the parents had set up an account which is enough to pay tuition and room and board with consideration of scholarship the child is getting, is it possible to reduce child support amount?

Tyngsboro, MA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Karla Mansur

Karla Mansur

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Concord, MA
Answered

The amount of child support for children over the age of 18 is still based on the child support guidelines, however, when the child is 18 or older and is enrolled in school the court will inquire into the particular circumstances of your case and make a determination of whether or not deviation from the guidelines is warranted based on other contributions made on behalf of the child. Before you file a modification action you should look at your separation agreement and/or judgment and read any sections relating to child support and education expenses to make sure this scenario wasn't already addressed in the agreement.

Kenneth P Doherty

Kenneth P Doherty

Family Law Attorney - Lawrence, MA
Answered

Yes. Child support for children over 18 and out of high school is up to the discretion of the judge. You should file for reduction/termination. good luck

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Anthony Rao

Anthony Rao

Child Support Lawyer - Revere, MA
Answered

In this instance, I would argue that the parent who has set-up this account would not be obligated to pay child support. However, your assertion regarding the "scholarship" is confusing and does not make any sense in context. However, the custodial parent could certainly make arguments that the child support should continue to be paid, as the custodial parent still must keep a place for the child to live during school vacations, etc. The final decision would be made by the trial judge, and said judge has an extreme amount of discretion in this instance.

You should retain an experienced Family Law attorney to assist you in this matter.

Good luck!

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