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PoetessJ

College/Child Support

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Good morning,

My ex and I are still in dissolution proceedings and it has been a year since the peitition was filed. 

We have 3 kids, the oldest in particular just graduated from high school May 2016 and he attended his first semester of college during the summer session May through July 2016. My ex is stating that because he is over 18 that he no longer has to support our oldest son but, my attorney, has assured me that as long as he is a full time student, he is not independent. My ex has not supported the oldest since October 2015 when he came back  to live with me and his two younger siblings. He lived with his father from June to October 2015 and before that he lived with us both. We split in March 2015. My son would like to sit out the fall semester and resume classes in the winter 2016. My question:

Can the oldest son still be considered dependent if he decided to work a part time job for the fall while still living at home and resumed classes in the Winter? My ex is fighting to not have him included in the child support obligations and currently doesn't pay any support for him (we have no final order as of yet because we are still in the middle of trial) and barely pays support for the other two ( he is in arrears $2600), he refuses to pay the oldest medical bills and tuition/books/fees for college, etc. He is also threatening to remove him from his medical insurance he has with his employer.

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In most states, including Missouri, child support ends at age 18 or graduation from high school, but no later that age 19, unless the parties agree in writing for a longer period of time.  While the oldest son could still be considered a dependent for tax purposes, that has nothing to do with child support.  Most insurance companies will keep a dependent child on a parents health insurance until 24 and often courts will require that.  Your husband, soon to be ex, should be following any interim child support and custody orders until modified by the court.

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Thank you for your answer! I was just wondering because our son started college courses right after high school graduation and just completed his first semester. This according to MO says the soon to be ex is still obligated to pay child support because he was enrolled and attending classes by October 1 of this year, my concern is that while he will still be enrolled, he wants to sit out Fall semester and attend Spring semester. The statute  does not mention actually attending, just the requirement that he is an enrolled student. It gets murky right here. Thanks again.

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It is a little puzzling why you are asking anonymous strangers on the internet to confirm what your attorney has told you.  It is not clear anyone on this site practices family law in Missouri and is in a better position to offer you advice than your attorney.  However, support may or may not include tuition, books and lodging at college.  The factors for support calculation do not include the purpose of the support payments.

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I'm not sure I'm following your question.  You indicated that your ex (who presumably is not an attorney) told you one thing and that your attorney told you the exact opposite, and you appear to be asking which of them is correct.  If that is your question, I'm at a loss as to why your ex might know the law better than your lawyer and why your lawyer might be giving you incorrect information.

 

If you like, you can read the relevant statute:  http://www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/stathtml/45200003401.html.  Sub-section 5 covers this issue.

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Quote from PG1067

 

Sub-section 5 

5. If when a child reaches age eighteen, the child is enrolled in and attending a secondary school program of instruction, the parental support obligation shall continue, if the child continues to attend and progresses toward completion of said program, until the child completes such program or reaches age twenty-one, whichever first occurs. If the child is enrolled in an institution of vocational or higher education not later than October first following graduation from a secondary school or completion of a graduation equivalence degree program and so long as the child enrolls for and completes at least twelve hours of credit each semester, not including the summer semester, at an institution of vocational or higher education and achieves grades sufficient to reenroll at such institution, the parental support obligation shall continue until the child completes his or her education, or until the child reaches the age of twenty-one, whichever first occurs.

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49 minutes ago, akulamasusu said:

Quote from PG1067

 

Huh?  You didn't quote anything I wrote, and it's beyond comprehension why you would resurrect a six-month dormant thread simply to quote a statute to which I had provided a link.

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