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Should parents continue to pay child support for adult children in college?

Couples facing the prospect of a life apart in Rockville while caring for their children often encounter disagreements over how their children should be raised and how much each spouse will contribute financially. Some parents may even face disagreements when it comes to paying for college. Recently, legislators in Maryland proposed a bill that would force parents to pay child support while the adult children are in college.

In 2010, a similar bill was rejected in Virginia's legislature. Whether or not the laws will be changed in Maryland, it does raise questions about a parent's obligation when it comes to paying for college.

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger made headlines when he admitted to fathering a child with his maid. The incident led his wife, Maria Shriver, to file for divorce. The two had been married for 25 years and have four children together.

Although there was talk of reconciliation, Schwarzenegger says the two will divorce. He says that the couple is working together as amicably as possible for the sake of their children. The former politician and movie star said that he is spending a lot of time getting his personal life in order, but that his primary concerns are that his children are well-adjusted and that they get a good education.

Providing for children's long-term educational future can be difficult for divorced parents. In Maryland, the current law does not require parents to continue to support their children into adulthood. However, some couples, such as the former governor of California, may be able come to an agreement on their own.

No matter what age a child is, child support issues can become complicated. Because of the high cost of college, conversations about tuition payments may become even more heated. Divorced couples struggling to come to an agreement about college tuition payments would likely do well to consult with an experienced attorney. An attorney can help parents come to a resolution that is fair for everyone involved.

Source: Examiner, "Maryland Legislators Seek to Require Child Support for Adult College Students," Hans Bader, Feb. 13, 2011

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