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Bayliss v. Bayliss

    Brief Fact Summary. A divorced father did not want to pay for the college education of his son.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. Children of divorced parents, who are minors at the time of divorce, are given the same right to a college education before and after they reach the age of majority that they probably would have received if their parents had not divorced.

    Facts. Patrick Bayliss is the son of Cherry Bayliss (Plaintiff) and John Bayliss (Defendant). His parents divorced. When he turned 18, his mother sought to have Defendant help her pay for his college education.

    Issue. Do parents of post-minority support children have to pay for the college education of children if the marriage was terminated by divorce, if the parents would have paid for it had they stayed together?

    Held. Yes.
    Generally, a divorced, noncustodial parent has no duty to contribute to the support of his or her child after the child has reached the age of majority. An exception will be made for receiving a college education.
    Money may be awarded out of the property and income of either or both parents for the post-minority education of a child of a dissolved marriage, when application is made before the child attains the age of majority. The factors that will be looked at include the financial resources of the parents and the child and the child’s commitment to and aptitude for the requested education.
    Courts have increasingly recognized a college education as being necessary for minor children of divorced parents.
    Children of divorced parents, who are minors at the time of divorce, are given the same right to a college education before and after the reach the age of majority that they probably would have received if their parents had not divorced.

    Discussion. Terminating support when the child reaches the age of majority would put children of divorce at a disadvantage as compared to children of unbroken homes. Higher education is now a necessity, so a child should not be deprived of having one if his parents can afford it, and the child is capable of pursuing it.


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