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Child support - when child in university in residence

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Anonymous Asked:

We have a court order legal agreement. Our son will be entering an undergraduate degree program in the fall. Child support directed is for me to pay spouse. When our son is away at university (not residing in the marital home) do i continue to pay spouse directly? As my spouse will not be housing and feeding our son i would prefer not to pay spouse but to arrange for monthly child support to go into a trust account for our son -- only for months when he is away at university. During summer months (may-aug) i will, as directed, pay child support to my spouse.

My spouse has been ordered to pay for university bill from his annual bonus money from his employment (thus it is not included in his income subject to calculation for spousal payments to me). I agree that i should pay child support when our son is under spouse's roof but my question is directed to the months our son is away at university.

I also wonder how long i should be paying child support as it is not stated in the court order document (no end date). Our son is now 17, to be 18 in aug 2015.

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Stuart Zukerman
5 years ago

Until you either reach a new signed agreement with your ex or until you obtain a new court order stating otherwise, you are obligated to pay child support directly to your ex. Upon agreement or application to the court you may succeed in varying that to enable you to make direct payments to your son (not to a trust account for your son – unless that is the agreement reached). Generally speaking Child support continues beyond the age of majority (19 in B.C.) if the child is in full time pursuit of higher education or training to assist him in becoming self sufficient. Generally this will continue until the child attains their first degree or diploma though there are many cases where child support is ordered to continue while a child is pursuing a Masters or Doctorate degree (depending upon a variety of factors set out in the Child Support Guidelines and the case law. Look at the decision of the BCSC in Farden v. Farden and the BCCA in Darlington v. Darlington to see the factors that the court weighs when determining child support for children over 19.

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