Financial Provision For Adult Children

Published date24 September 2021
Subject MatterConsumer Protection, Family and Matrimonial, Family Law, Education
Law FirmRussell-Cooke Solicitors
AuthorMs Helen Tulloch

As university terms start, many parents are thinking about financial support for children heading into higher education. Although the statutory child maintenance scheme stops when children finish A-Levels or equivalent, many separated parents will continue to provide financial support for children beyond this point.

When parents separate, often the focus of discussions is immediate financial concerns, such as housing and living expenses. Particularly when children are young at the point of separation, financial provision during university may be overlooked.

But it is advisable for separating parents to discuss financial support for children aged 18 and over as part of overall discussions about finances. Some issues to consider are:

  • should financial support still be paid to a parent or direct to a child?
  • one parent may have higher costs for housing a child during the university holidays. Will that parent continue to receive some maintenance (sometimes referred to as a 'roofing allowance')?
  • would setting aside a capital sum for university costs and living expenses now, or even setting up a trust fund, be affordable and preferable, rather than paying child maintenance for longer?
  • what about housing needs for children aged 18 or over? If a property will be sold once it is no longer required for the children, should that be after university?

If separated parents cannot agree about financial support for children aged 18 or over, a court can decide between paying ongoing maintenance and/or capital provision. A court can make an order dealing with financial support for a child aged 18 or over who is continuing in...

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