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On which parent is a college student dependent?

The guidelines indicate that child support is owed to the custodial parent even if the child attends college full time and even if the 19 year old child lives at college. It would seem to me that if only the non-custodial parent is paying for college (custodial parent refuses to pay), the child would be dependent on that parent and that parent should not be expected to pay child support. In what sense is the child dependent on the custodial parent? After all, if the tuition is not paid, the child would not be a full time student and child support would no longer be expected. Does paying child support really make sense when the non-custodial parent is paying the entire bill for tuition, room and board? How might the court look at this?

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I think I see your point.  If the original order for child support did not take into account that you would be expending significant amounts of money on tuition and other expenses, then that might be the type of "material change in circumstances" that would justify an modification of the order.  Not my area of specialty, so I would certainly recommend talking to a MA divorce lawyer.   He or she might talk to you about filing a Complaint for Modification of Child Support Order.  For more information or to post a question, visit our MA Divorce Discussion Forum.  Good luck.

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