How would I enforce the divorce decree and get an order for college support?
In some states, it is possible for the court to order support past the age of majority. A parent may petition the court to modify a current support order to include payments for college support. It is typically referred to as post-majority support. If a court determines it appropriate for parents to contribute to a child's post-secondary education, the family court judge may terminate any existing child support order and replace it with an order requiring the parents to contribute to the child's education expenses. By law, these expenses include college or vocational school tuition, books, and fees. Orders may also include payment for health insurance or medical expenses.
The following is a WA statute:
RCW 26.19.090 (1) The child support schedule shall be advisory and not
(1) The child support schedule shall be advisory and not mandatory for
postsecondary educational support.
(2) When considering whether to order support for postsecondary
educational expenses, the court shall determine whether the child is in
fact dependent and is relying upon the parents for the reasonable
necessities of life. The court shall exercise its discretion when
determining whether and for how long to award postsecondary educational
support based upon consideration of factors that include but are not
limited to the following: Age of the child; the child's needs; the
expectations of the parties for their children when the parents were
together; the child's prospects, desires, aptitudes, abilities or
disabilities; the nature of the postsecondary education sought; and the
parents' level of education, standard of living, and current and future
resources. Also to be considered are the amount and type of support that
the child would have been afforded if the parents had stayed together.
(3) The child must enroll in an accredited academic or vocational school,
must be actively pursuing a course of study commensurate with the child's
vocational goals, and must be in good academic standing as defined by the
institution. The court-ordered postsecondary educational support shall be
automatically suspended during the period or periods the child fails to
comply with these conditions.
(4) The child shall also make available all academic records and grades
to both parents as a condition of receiving postsecondary educational
support. Each parent shall have full and equal access to the postsecondary
education records as provided in RCW 26.09.225.
(5) The court shall not order the payment of postsecondary educational
expenses beyond the child's twenty-third birthday, except for exceptional
circumstances, such as mental, physical, or emotional disabilities.
(6) The court shall direct that either or both parents' payments for
postsecondary educational expenses be made directly to the educational
institution if feasible. If direct payments are not feasible, then the
court in its discretion may order that either or both parents' payments be
made directly to the child if the child does not reside with either parent.
If the child resides with one of the parents the court may direct that the
parent making the support transfer payments make the payments to the child
or to the parent who has been receiving the support transfer payments.