Support for Post-Secondary Education

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


About the author

About Alicia Fastman

Alicia Fastman graduated from Hofstra University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, then went on to complete her Juris Doctorate at the Widener University School of Law in Wilmington, DE. Alicia graduated from law school with pro bono distinction, completed a Certificate in Criminal Law, and focused her intensive studies within the fields of litigation and trial advocacy. Alicia joined LaMonaca Law in April of 2011 and is a Partner at the firm. She was selected as a Top Lawyer in Main Line Magazine in 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2019 in the areas of Family Law and Divorce and has been named as a Best Lawyer in the areas of Adoption and Trial in the Delaware County Daily Times. Alicia is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, and is a member of the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and Delaware County Bar Associations. Alicia resides in Delaware County with her dog, Leonard. In her time outside of the courtroom or office, she enjoys creating art, listening to podcasts, and spending time with friends and family.