View Full Version : Your advice is needed
January 7th, 2004, 12:03am
At the end of this month my stepdaughter will be 18 years old. I do not think it unreasonable to take the child support portion of the money that was paid to her mother for her and put it into a college fund as she will be going next year.It would be a true helping hand to DSD. I do not feel her mother should be able to collect child support for a child who is over 18, her mother will not save the money for her and another reason she won't want to do it is so she doenst have to get a job. DSD will be the first to attend college and is worried about financial matters for college and is a talented artist..she wants to be a graphic designer. If the money is given to her mother DSD won't have much to work with unless she applys for and gets tons of grants. DH doesnt want to talk to his ex because he's afraid she may have a fit .nothing in their divorce papers say child support stops at 18.....I say for the good of the child he should, she shouldnt have to settle for a community college when a plan like this could work. We bought her car, I sent her tons of grant and scholarship info as well. I just wonder what you think? I would just like to not argue with this woman, but she will see it as YOU JUST DONT WANT TO PAY ME...I see it as she doesnt want to work so she won't want to give up the money even if it means her daughter goes to a better college...any advice? Thanks guys.
January 7th, 2004, 12:08am
I thought it was state law that child support stops at 18 unless the child is still in school?
January 7th, 2004, 12:11am
Here in my part of the country child support continues until the child is 18 and out of school. Then up to four more years if the child goes to college. I think that it would be a great way to help her through college. However you will have to figure out how you want to deal with the ex or if it is worth it to. My Dad had to continue child support and insurance until I quit college. Or if I had finished. That I do know. However he is the best and still pays my life insurance even though I am married with a child of my own. I think it all depends on an individual situation.
January 7th, 2004, 12:23am
I would do some checking to see about having to pay child support after your step daughter turns 18. Not sure who you would have to call but I suppose the court system would be the place to start. It can't cause any trouble to call and get some information on your own without contacting the ex first. Find out what the complications would be if you decided not to pay child support after she turns 18. You might find something on this on the net under your state child support laws.
I think you have a wonderful idea and I say go for it. Hats off to you for wanting to help your step daughter. It sounds like it would make a big difference in her education and life for a bright future.
January 7th, 2004, 1:19am
Here in Florida, child support generally is ordered until the child is 18, unless the child is still in high school and is making reasonable efforts to complete high school by age 19. I take it from your post that your spouse and his ex didn't make any sort of agreement on child support (if they had, as long as it was properly executed, the court will enforce the agreement between the parties). I don't know whether you can just stop making payments when she graduates from high school, or if you have to petition for termination of child support (I think I missed that day in class -- I certainly can't find it in my class notes from my family law study guide). From my recollection of my family law class, both parties must agree to any modification of child support, whether that modification is a change in amount or where the payment is to be made, or one party can petition the court for a modification. Your husband could go to court to try to make this modification and have the money paid into a trust for college.
You have a great idea, and I hope your husband will try to talk to the ex about it. If child support payments aren't going directly into a county depository, you can petition to have the payments go through the depository and then petition for an accounting of how the money is spent.
There are lots of different statutes on child support -- the main one is Florida Statute 61.30. If you go to http://www.flsenate.gov/Welcome/index.cfm, you can look at the Florida Statutes online, you can search them, etc. I have a blinding migraine right now, but some of the answers may be in my family law study guide, and I was just unable to find it. You can view my study guide for family law online at: http://www.bethllamas.com/Family%20Law%20Outline.htm. I took family law at Stetson Law in the Spring of 2003, and I don't think too much of the information has changed. But, if you view that study guide, some of it is stuff from other states. Generally, if I listed a specific statute number, that is Florida's statute on whatever issue was being discussed.
Good luck! You are a wonderful stepmom for thinking about her college, and wanting her to go to a great school. :)
January 12th, 2004, 5:15pm
I have been on both ends....collecting and being with someone who had to pay out. I understood the newest law to read that child support will continue to be paid until the age of 23...IF the child is in school and or college( must enroll in at least 6 credit hours in college and must be fully registered and start college with in 6 months of graduating from high school.) I also understood that the person paying said support could also be held accountable for other college charges.
You cannot just change the support order....ie: withhold money and put it into a fund. You have to file at the clerks office to change the order and then you still may have to go before a judge to do it. Actually was in a similar situation and the judge got TICKED ( ignorance of the law is no excuse) You might even have to hire an attorney just to file for the change.
I know this probably isn't good news, in your situation........best of luck to you though!
January 12th, 2004, 6:16pm
That's a very generous plan from my point of view. But, I would DEFINITELY consult an attorney about it first. Just to make sure the ex can't come back and say you owe her the support too. Divorce decrees are all different just as state laws are. I'd be interested in what an attorney tells you, keep us posted. And keep this plan under your hat, until you find out if you can legally do it; the ex might get to an attorney first if she catches wind of it.
BTW, that's a very nice thing for you to do...
January 12th, 2004, 6:25pm
When my mom collected child support it was until my brother and I were finished with high school. I turned 18 early in the school year but she collected until I graduated.
My husband just said that Minnesota chanced their law and now parents can collect child support if they are enrolled in college.
January 13th, 2004, 12:41am
I agree with "mare". When I got my divorce child support did not end until the child is out of school. Check with a lawyer on that one. :)
January 13th, 2004, 9:22am
My DH had to pay child support until his son was 22. If I remember correctly, in Missouri at that time it was either 22 years old or done with college, whichever comes first;- the son turned 22 first because he went on for a higher education. And also he had to pay it to the ex-wife instead of the son. I remember this because like your dilemma, at the time he tried to make it so his son would get the money as DH knew his ex would spend it, but the courts made him continue paying it to the ex-wife. That's the craziest law I ever heard. At the risk of riling people up, let me say I think the law in it's entirety is total injustice. I don't feel as though a parent should be "forced" to pay out anything to a child after the age of 18. I didn't know this college rule even existed until I married into it. These days, a lot of parents offer and insist on paying for their child's education, and that's fine, but if you think about it, had my DH and his wife stayed married, for example, and the son wanted put through college, the parents aren't legally obligated. They can if they want, and in DH's case, they probably would've, but since he got divorced, he's FORCED to pay. I guess what i'm saying is why should only DIVORCED fathers be penalized? My DH also was forced to pay a huge sum of alimony to this woman which in my opinion she should've had to use that money's for the kids education if she CHOSE to help him, or Heaven forbid, get a job. It's ludacrous and totally outrageous how court systems and judges favor the 'poor wife' in these situations. This @#$ch cheated on HIM after 30 years of marriage, then proceeds to take him to the cleaners in every way imaginable on top of it, and the judges, lawyers, and court systems let these kinds of injustices occur daily. :mad2: I know for a fact that lots of women manipulate their child to go to college just so they can collect money after the 18 rule, when this same child wouldn't have normally gone to college. Yes, I am bitter, and totally disillusioned by the whole court system.
Sorry for using your thread for my venting when all you wanted was advice. Please forgive?