Child Support: Paying For Degrees After College

divorce attorney Jill Duffy

By Jill A. Duffy

Attorney, Cordell & Cordell

“Does child support include higher education degrees for children? I have paid part of college tuition for my daughter who has graduated college. I thought I was over with support, but now she is talking about going to law school. Do I have to pay for second degrees, too?”

This is an interesting topic that surfaces in some divorce cases.

In most states, an obligation to support a child only lasts until the child becomes an adult (usually 18 years old, but longer under special conditions). Some states allow parents, during their divorce, to negotiate for support of the children for a longer period of time.

Generally, secondary education is considered grades six through twelve (middle school and high school). It would not be uncommon for parents to be ordered to support their children during this time period.

College education is considered higher education, and parents usually are not required by law to pay for a child’s higher education. On the same note, parents are not responsible fore the post-graduate education of their children.

In order to effectively get an answer to your question, you should contact an attorney to review the specific language of your divorce decree and interpret it in light of the negotiations with your ex-spouse and the law in your state. You may have already fulfilled your obligations under the support order.

You should contact an attorney who is licensed in your state to further discuss the specifics of your situation. Cordell & Cordell represents men in divorce cases across the nation.


Jill A. Duffy is an Associate Attorney in the Troy, Mich., office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Ms. Duffy received her BA in Psychology and Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude.  

End of Content Icon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *