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Emancipation/Modification State of Maryland

Started by stefania01, Nov 20, 2007, 01:14:22 PM

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       Hello Everyone,

   I need some real help.  My daughter is 18 a fulltime student in college.

Her father lives in Maryland.  I am being told so many diffrent answers and pretty much that my Daughter after 18 is on her own. She lives in NJ and attends college in Conneticut.

Any advice or anyone know of a good lawyer in Maryland that handles these type of cases??? I would relaly appreciate it!!

I am new to this Forum. Hoping to get help and also if I can be of any help to the Forum Community.

God Bless..


If you're looking for continuing support for daughter then that should have been spelled out in your divorce decree.

Please further elaborate on the circumstances so we may be better able to answer.  Also, you may want to state what is in your decree in regards to "secondary" support.  What does the decree state about college expenses and/or child support after the age of 18 if the child is in college????
Now I'm living....Just another day in Paradise!!


This seems a really popular topic on this message board. Of course I'm not here much so maybe it just seems so to me.  Divorcenet has a pretty good explanation of this in each state.


The general rule is that if there's nothing excluding it in the divorce decree, you go to the state statutes.  If there's nothing there, go to the state supreme court website and look for appeals or supreme court decisions for that state which constitutes case law.   Even if there is something in the state statutes you should always check case law.  I am not a lawyer and this is my opinion, but I have to look up law all the time for civil cases for my job as a scientist, and my sister is a divorce court judge, so I ask her about stuff like this for my case all the time.   Always, always, always talk to a lawyer about this for your case.  It looks to me from the citation above that Maryland statutes don't mention it (look for case law or amended statutes), New Jersey will allow it as a modification of the divorce decree (look for more recent state law or amended statutes), and Connecticut is vague (look for more recent state law or amended statutes).

Cornell Law School is a good source of statutes for all states, or used to be.  We have a law library at work so I haven't used it in a while.


Hello Eveyone,

Thank you, Thank you so very much for the prompt response.  I apologize that I did not state my case clearly.  I just noticed that.  I am sorry.  I guess since I have been so stressed out this is my only excuse.

In my Maryland Divorce Decree there is not statement about child support stating support continues after 18 for college. So I spoke with an attorney in Maryland who pretty much told me I should just "FORGET ABOUT IT" that I have no chance, because in Maryland after 18 emancipation is the law and the other parent is not obligated to help pay for college.  What I am trying to prove in court, is that my daughter is still a dependent she is a full time student with no job and still needs Financial help for books, tution etc.

God knows I am up for the Battle.  "May the Good Lord Lead Me"




I would like to look at this subject from a different angle.

1. Does an adult child have a right compell their parents to pay for anything for them?

What if they were not interested in going to college, but instead wanted to explore a new business venture. Would they have the right to compel their parents to provide the capital needed to start that business? I think that this concept opens a can of worms that most would not be willing to delve into.

2.  Why should the "adult children" of divorced parents be given special rights that the children of intact families are not entitled to?

If the adult in question were coming from an intact family, would they have a right to compel their parents to pay for college for them? Why should Billy be entitled to force his parents to send him to college, while Bobby can not? Does the act of divorce create a special class of citizen just by its act? Should a person be entitled to special rights just because they had the unfortunate circumstance of being the child of parents that could not stay together?

I think the wrong question is being asked. It should not be, "Can I compel the other parent to pay for college?"  But rather, why is the other parent not willing to do so?  Is it continuing a financial burnden that has been in place for years as the child grows up. Is it a philisophical reason....I.E. the parent feels it is important for the child to "earn his or her own way the world"?

As a parent that would do what ever I could for my children (and no they are not college age yet) I see this from a different stand point. As I struggle to provide for my children, I have very little left over to put aside for college for them. Their mother lives on a very limited income (her choice - I am the custodial parent and I pay her child support - CA go figure) so I doubt there is much being set aside on that side. So when my kids get to be college age, they will have to find funding on their own....just like most college age children. If my two boys want to go to college, I will do everything I can to assist...but they will have to look for scholarships, they will have to get part time work and take out student loans....just like their parents did!!!

To the OP, if your child needs money for books...he or she will need to do what most college students do...GO OUT AND GET A JOB!  It might mean they can only go to school part time, but they will get the benefit of continuing their education, both in a classroom environment, and in the real world.


Are you talking to me or the original poster?  If you're talking to me, I gave up years ago answering philosophical questions and worrying about the principle of the thing.  It's a pointless and frustrating exercise.  I found that I was much happier removing the words "why" and "should"  and "fair" from my vocabulary.  Life deals people raw deals all the time.


Sorry, this was not really aimed at anybody.  Just wanted to put my opinion into the thread and hit reply after the last message.


I live in MD and the attorney is correct, if secondary support wasn't put in your decree, good luck trying to get it because now it's after the fact.  My question is if daughter is no longer living with you, why do you need the support?  Have you talked to your X about this?  Did he agree to help with college expenses?

The way I see it, secondary support should NOT be ordered at all!!  An intact family is NEVER court orderd to provide college and support after the age of 18 right?  So why should it be for a divorced family?

What I suggest you might want to do is talk to your X about her schooling and ask him to help by sending the support directly to the child...not you!  If he refuses, then you need to figure out a different way of paying for it through school loans, scholarships and/or the student working.

It will more than likely cost you more to take the ex to court than to just pay for her school directly.
Now I'm living....Just another day in Paradise!!

Kitty C.

If she's 18 and in college and needs financial help for it, tell her to get a student loan, like all the other college students in her position.  You and your ex's 'responsibility' has ended, now that she's no longer a minor and in college.  But if you want to help her out of the goodness of your heart, that's entirely up to you.  As for your ex, if she wants help from him, SHE will be the one asking for it, not you.  She's an adult now, it's HER responsibility, not yours.

Sorry if I sound so crass, but I am in agreement with other posters here, in that why should adult children of divorced parents get anything over and above the same from intact families.  There's no law that says parents have to foot the bill for their kids' college education.  Why?  Because it is 'assumed' that when you're an adult, it's your responsibility, unless you are mentally or physically incapable of doing so.
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......


>To the OP, if your child needs money for books...he or she
>will need to do what most college students do...GO OUT AND GET
>A JOB!  It might mean they can only go to school part time,
>but they will get the benefit of continuing their education,
>both in a classroom environment, and in the real world.

Exactly. My parents didn't pay for my education. One of my SDs paid for her own, the other felt entitled to an expensive private school. We told her she could go wherever she wanted, but that our contribution was going to be the equivalent of the local state school. She'd have to come up with the rest on her own (she did).