On March 5, this blog referenced a New Jersery adult child support case and a California parent’s responsibility (or lack thereof) to pay for a child’s college education.
As previously noted, parents are not responsible for their non-minor children unless the child is “incapacitated from earning a living and without sufficient means” (Fam. Code § 3910) or the parents otherwise agree (Fam. Code § 3587).
In a recent case (Drescher v. Gross, (4/11/14) 2 Civ B246494, Div 3), the Court ruled on what happens when parents agree to provide for their non-minor children (i.e. pay for college) but when college comes – one parent cannot (or will not) pay and asks the Court to modify their order.
With minor children, child support is modifiable – and the parties cannot contract out of this provision. However, according to Drescher, if the parties agree to provide support (including paying for college) for their adult children, the parties MAY contractually agree to limit the court’s ability to modify support. And the Court cannot then modify that adult child support order.
Thus, if you are considering an adult child support provision in your Marital Settlement Agreement, and you want that provision to be non-modifiable, be sure you speak to an experienced family law attorney to ensure your wishes are memorialized in your MSA.