Support for Post-Secondary Education
In Pennsylvania, the Court cannot require a parent to financially contribute to a child’s college education. A parent is obligated to pay support for a child until he or she turns 18 or graduates from high school, whichever happens latest. At a time, the law indicated that the court could order a parent to pay post-secondary education expenses; however, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania determined that this statute was unconstitutional as it puts students on unequal footing with regard to receiving financial support from a parent because parents in an intact family have no obligation to contribute financially to a child’s post-secondary education.
The Courts can not order a parent to contribute financially to a child’s college education; however, parents can contract with one another to create an obligation to do so. The Court will enforce a contract, such as a Property Settlement Agreement reached in the course of Divorce, that requires one or both parties to contribute to a child’s college education costs so long as that agreement is made in advance of the minor child turning 18 or graduating from high school, whichever comes last.
A parent cannot be forced to pay for a child’s college education and has no obligation to do so in Pennsylvania. If a parent chooses, however, he or she can sign a contract creating such an obligation. Before doing so, it is wise to speak with an attorney to determine whether signing an agreement that creates a support obligation that would not otherwise exist is in your best interest.
To schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys or for further information, call us at LaMonaca Law, at (610) 892-3877