Q&As

Can the court make an order in financial order proceedings on divorce or dissolution for the payment of university fees for a child of the family who is over the age of 18?

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Produced in partnership with Richard Colbey of Lamb Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 18/02/2019

The following Family Q&A produced in partnership with Richard Colbey of Lamb Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can the court make an order in financial order proceedings on divorce or dissolution for the payment of university fees for a child of the family who is over the age of 18?

The position is not straightforward, and potential options will be dependent on the facts of the case.

Section 23(1) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973) enables the court to make:

‘…(d) an order that a party to the marriage shall make to such person as may be specified in the order for the benefit of a child of the family, or to such a child, such periodical payments, for such term, as may be so specified;

(e) an order that a party to the marriage shall secure to such person as may be so specified for the benefit of such a child, or to such a child, to the satisfaction of the court, such periodical payments, for such term, as may be so specified;

(f) an order that a party to the marriage shall pay to such person as may be so specified for the benefit of such a child, or to such a child, such lump sum as may be so specified’

These are on their face orders that could include maintaining a child through university and paying or contributing to their fees. MCA 1973, s 23(1) however contains a proviso that it is:

‘…subject, however, in the case of an order under paragraph (d), (e) or (f) above, to the restrictions imposed by section 29(1) and (3) below on the making of financial provision orders in

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