Post-Secondary Support

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Once again, managing partner and family law attorney, Rick Jones, stopped by the KZOK studio to field questions on “Life Coach”. During this episode there was a pervasive theme between many of the callers— post secondary support.

Post secondary support is child support that is paid after the child graduates high school or turns 18. It is money that is meant to help cover some or all of the cost of obtaining education past the high school level. According to Washington State statute:

“When deciding issues of post-secondary educational support, the court shall consider factors that “include but are not limited to the following: age of the child; the child’s needs; the expectations of the parties for their children when the parents were together; the child’s prospects, desires, aptitudes, abilities or disabilities; the nature of the postsecondary education sought; and the parents’ level of education, standard of living, and current and future resources. Also to be considered are the amount and type of support that the child would have been afforded if the parents had stayed together.” Additional factors may include the educational institution’s placement rate for its graduates. “

 The first caller to broach the topic of post secondary support had an interesting and fairly complicated set of circumstances. The caller stated had been paying child support through Washington State for the past 18 years, when the child turned 18 he called the Division of Child Support (DCS) where he was told that he had met his support obligation and he no longer needed to pay. He asked for confirmation in writing that the obligation had been met and was informed that wasn’t an option. Additionally, the caller was under the impression that the child was no longer in school because she had dropped out. Three months later he began receiving letters saying that his wages are going to be garnished because of outstanding child support due to the child still being in school. His question for Rick: “How much longer do I have to pay support”?

Rick cut straight to the chase and advised the caller to revisit the support order to determine what the language regarding the termination of support. Rick advises that the support order most likely outlines that support will be terminated when the child turns 18 or graduates high school, whichever occurs later.

Making an educated guess, Rick suspected that in this particular situation, the daughter turned 18, but may have enrolled in summer courses in an attempt to complete high school. Rick advised the caller that he would need to get a hold of the support order to find out exactly what it says.

You can hear all of Rick’s advice in the clip below.

If you are a man facing custody, support or divorce issues and need answers, give us a call (206) 448-1010. Goldberg Jones is dedicated to providing aggressive advocacy for the husbands and fathers in Seattle and the surrounding communities.


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