When parents separate or divorce, there are often a number of legal issues to consider related to the well-being and best interests of their kids. At the top of the list are questions of child custody and support. The latter category typically includes money for basics like food, clothing, shelter, and health care. Recognizing that circumstances can change over time, California divorce law generally gives courts the authority to later modify custody and support orders when necessary.
These days, divorcing spouses may also want to decide how they’ll pay for their children’s higher education costs. In Drescher v. Gross, California’s Second District Court of Appeals explains that college funding agreements may be considered a form of “adult support,” and that spouses may therefore limit a court’s ability to later modify an order as to how these educational expenses will be paid.
Husband and Wife separated in 2001 after 14 years of marriage. They entered into a marital settlement agreement (MSA) providing that they would split the expenses for supporting their three kids and share joint physical and legal custody of the children. The MSA also stated that the parents would each pay for half of their children’s costs for attending college in the state. A trial court later entered a judgment dissolving the marriage and incorporating the terms of the MSA.