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Pls. help ... ? re: college and medical bills ... thank you.

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? GA

Good morning.

My DH has a child in college. His separation agreement states that child support ends “When the child turns 18, emancipates, marries or dies.” It goes on to say “Upon graduation from high school, if the child goes on to attend college, Husband agrees to pay the above payment so long as the child attends college full-time and remains in good academic standing up until the child graduates or turns 22, whichever first occurs.” My DH has continued to send the support each month while his child has been attending college.

On the next page, in a separate numbered paragraph (a few paragraphs after the child support paragraph), the agreement states that “each party is responsible for 1/2 of medical and dental expenses for the child that is not covered by military health benefits.”

Please note that it does *not* go on to state that my DH would continue to pay ½ for medical bills if the child attends college. That would have been a voluntary agreement and one which my DH did not make at the time the agreement was drafted/signed.

My DH’s ex feels as though my DH *is* still responsible for ½ of medical bills while their child attends college.

We disagree and here's why … In the state of GA, child support ends at 18 (or 20 if still in high school). There is no law making a non-custodial parent pay child support/expenses (or anything else for that matter) if their child attends college. If the parties want to make an agreement re: college support on their own, they may, and the court will enforce it. That’s what my DH and his ex did … my DH voluntarily agreed to continue to pay monthly child support if his child went to college, and such is outlined in the child support paragraph of his agreement (quoted above) (there is no mention of medical).

What do you think? Do you think my DH's ex would have a strong case for having a court order my DH to pay for 1/2 of the medical bills while the child is attending college when there isn't a special provision regarding same in his agreement?

Thanks for your time.


Senior Member
I think it's a shot he needs to take. The order is silent on providing medical insurance and paying any out of pocket costs. The child is an adult and needs to take some responsibility.

Tell him to send the bills back to her registered mail, return receipt requested, with a note that clearly states he is only obligated to pay child support for the child, not out of pocket medical.


Senior Member
is the child still covered under the military insurance? who provides this military insurance (mother or father)

it would be my assumption that he would be expected to pay 1/2 of uncovered medical and dental for so long as his CS continues, but that is ONLY my opinion.


dynomight77 said:
it would be my assumption that he would be expected to pay 1/2 of uncovered medical and dental for so long as his CS continues, but that is ONLY my opinion.
That is not correct because in this order, the child support amount issue is specifically addressed and the health/dental costs are not. Since health/dental benefits are considered child support, I would think he could make a very valid argument that the "agree amount" also goes towards the payment of health/dental costs.

He is under no legal obligation to pay a penny towards them.


Senior Member
Personally, I would feel obligated to continue to share my child's unreimbursed medical expenses while my child was in college....but that is just me.


Junior Member
Thank you all for your replies. I've done a bit more research and have found more evidence that since the separation agreement doesn't specifically outline payment of 1/2 of the medical bills after the child reaches the age of majority and/or attends college full-time, I believe that my DH has a good chance at winning if his ex files a claim against him. Apparently, a court can't try and interpret or modify an order after the child has reached majority ... they've lost authority at this point.

Dynomite77: you asked who carries insurance. Legally, the child doesn't have to be covered under either DH or the ex since she's 18; however, because my DH retired from the military, his daughter has the benefit of Tricare until she's 21. To me ... that, coupled with the fact that my stepdaughter gets money each month from my DH, is pretty good (especially since in GA, a non-custodial parent doesn't legally have to provide support while their child attends college). His daughter is attending college on grants and scholarships, works part-time and lives at home with her mom, so she's not hurting as far as I'm concerned.

It's not that we don't want to help his daughter out as far as medical bills, we just don't want the ex telling us or thinking that we *have* to. The ex has filed frivolous lawsuits before (and lost) ... we just want to have our ducks in a row on this one as well.

Thanks again!

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