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define "full time education"

(14 Posts)
eileen70 Tue 21-May-13 09:45:21

Hi, I was divorced in 1999. The Consent Order states that maintenance for my daughter is to be paid until "she attains the age of 17 or ceases full time education, whichever is the later". My daughter is 19 and off to uni for 3 years in September, at which time her father says he's going to stop the maintenance payments as uni is not "full time education" and he doesn't have to pay. I think uni IS full time education - please advise! Thanks.

AMumInScotland Tue 21-May-13 10:12:33

I would say that Uni is full-time education, and I have no doubt the Consent order was written that way deliberately to include college/university education. However, I'm not a lawyer and I think you'll probably need to get some kind of legal letter to him to make him take that seriously.

boomting Tue 21-May-13 15:34:08

Uni is full time education, unless she's doing a course that is explicitly part time, often done over 6 years (highly unlikely at her age).

Might be worth a solicitors letter?

However, as she lives with you any student finance will be based on your income (and any live in partner of yours) not her father's. Not that that affects the maintenance issue, but I thought you might not be aware!

creamteas Tue 21-May-13 18:48:53

I'm not a solicitor, I think the issue is that she is over 18 and therefore an adult.

If child maintenance had to be paid until education ceased, then it would technically be possible for it to be paid forever as there is nothing to stop someone taking degree after degree after degree.......

boomting Tue 21-May-13 21:08:21

@creamteas I'm not a solicitor either, but it seems fairly clear cut to me that he does have to pay during her degree (s). Otherwise it would say "until 17, or 18 I'd still in full time education.

I'm not sure what would happen if she took a gap year - whether or not it would restart is not entirely clear to me, as she will have ceased full time education, but only temporarily.

creamteas Tue 21-May-13 21:14:21

To me, it means that child support will cover the child at age 16, and if still in education when they are 17.

So it would cease if she had left school at 16, and it would no longer be mandatory on 18th birthday (eg when no longer a child).

Legal liabilities ending on the child's 18th birthday is pretty standard as far as I know

creamteas Tue 21-May-13 21:19:36

If it is through the CSA, it will not cover time at uni:

Payment go to:
to age 19 to allow the child to complete full time education (but not advanced education for a degree or similar qualification) or

to age 18 if the child is registered for work or youth training but has not yet started youth training or found work which will last for more than 12 weeks after he/she reaches age 16.

see here

EverythingInMjiniature Tue 21-May-13 21:21:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chubfuddler Tue 21-May-13 21:23:32

What was the stated intention when you agreed this? That wording is used to indicate that if a child remains in full time education ie college/uni financial support continues but if not it stops (that's why it says whichever is the later).

eileen70 Wed 22-May-13 08:50:22

Thank you all so much for your thoughts. The CSA was not mentioned at all in the Consent Agreement. A levels and college are "further" and "higher" full time education, and as I see it, Uni is "advanced" full time eduction. Thing is, my ex is a wealthy man and can afford a court battle, I cannot. He's got me right where he wants me. So unfair, and of course, my daughter is caught up in the middle of all this!

mummytime Wed 22-May-13 09:07:08

My Uncle had to continue to pay until his DD left Uni because of a clause like this. It was there to ensure she got the relevant parental contribution whilst at Uni.

Chubfuddler Wed 22-May-13 09:35:55

I think if you repost in legal some MNers who are family lawyers will see it - baby barrister and collaborate for example.

goinggetstough Wed 22-May-13 13:53:10

mummytime that sounds an unusual reason. I say this because the amount of loan, grant is dependent on the income of the parent a student lives with. So the parent the student doesn't live with is not having to contribute.

I wonder if the absent parent pays money to either the student or the resident parent whether this will be viewed as income and affect the amount the student can claim in the first place. Prior to 18 I believe that the maintenance doesn't count as income. After 18 when they are not a child will it count as income? So in depending how much money the absent parent pays it might cancel itself out with regard to loans etc.

As an aside this is one reason why I think that student loans etc should be calculated on both parents' income. I know of a few families where the student lives with the Mother who has a low income, so claims grants, loans and scholarships etc and the non- resident Father who is rich pays his child an additional allowance. The end result being one rich student. I have no problem with the amount a student has but in the above example the student is receiving money from the government in the form of grants etc which they would not be entitled to if the parents were together.

boomting Wed 22-May-13 15:40:46

A levels and college are "further" and "higher" full time education, and as I see it, Uni is "advanced" full time eduction

Not quite.

A Levels / college = further education
University = higher education

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