College Education and Child Support

Children who receive child support payments typically stop receiving them when they turn 18 or finish high school, whichever happens last. Children who go onto college or vocational school, however, can continue to receive child support payments beyond their 18th birthdays in Missouri.

Children enrolled in post-secondary school can continue to receive child support payments until they turn 21 or complete the educational program, whichever comes first. Specific requirements must be met for child support to continue during college or vocational school. Speak to an experienced Missouri child support lawyer to be sure that you understand your rights and obligations.

Child Support During College or Vocational School in Missouri

For your child to remain eligible for child support payments while seeking a post-secondary degree or certification, he or she must fulfill specific requirements under the law. Failure to accommodate any of these requirements may result in termination of child support payments:

  • After high school, the child must enroll in a college or vocational school no later than October 1 of the year he or she graduated.
  • The child is required to enroll in and complete a minimum of 12 credit hours each term with the exception of summer term. If the child works at least 15 hours per week, the requirement drops to nine credit hours.
  • The child is required to provide a transcript showing courses enrolled in and completed, grades and credits earned each term, and documentation showing the courses enrolled in for the upcoming term, to the paying parent.
  • The parent has the right to request notification of the child's grades. The child is required to provide the documentation within 30 days of receiving his or her grades from the school.
  • The child is required to earn good enough grades to stay in school. Receiving failing grades in 50 percent or more of his or her classes can result in the termination of payments.

Illinois and Kansas Laws on College Education and Child Support

In Illinois, an application for such support can be made after the child has attained majority. Support is for any period during which the child is still attending high school even if after age 18, and for college education or other professional training after high school thereafter. Expenses can include room board, dues, tuition, transportation, books, fees, registration and application costs, medical expenses, insurance, living expenses during school year and when school is not in session.

In Kansas and Oklahoma, college costs can only be paid only by agreement of the parties. This is unlike the laws in Missouri and Illinois.

You can read more about this topic in an article titled: Providing for Your Child's College Education in Your Divorce Decree. You can also read: Illinois Law Summary: Educational Expenses and College Costs.

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