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It can be an exciting part of the year when A-Levels come in, summer holidays draw to a close and children look forward to their next step in life’s journey.

When families face a son or daughter going to university, it can however cause some financial anxiety, particularly if ongoing financial support has been provided by one parent to date and then ceases.

Rebecca Procter, Head of Family Law at Wollens Solicitors, said “The Child Maintenance Service currently only makes provision for maintenance to be paid until a child reaches the age of 16 or until the age of 20, if the child continues in full time education to the end of their A-Levels (or equivalent)”.    This means that at the end of A-Levels, child maintenance usually ceases leaving one parent, possibly, with a financial struggle to meet ongoing outgoings to support the child.  

As part of a divorce, the parents may have agreed financial provision for the children until they reach the end of full time tertiary (e.g. university) education.  Without such provision, then the parents will ideally still come to an agreement.   If the child continues to live at home whilst studying, then hopefully payments will continue in the same way.

If the child goes away to university, then it may be helpful for them to receive some money directly with a proportion to the parent looking after them during the holidays.

If the child is in need of financial support from separated parents and is receiving nothing, there may be an option of the child applying for a Court Order for money from one of other parent.   However, these Orders are not so common with the availability of student loans and because Legal Aid funding is not available to bring such an application.

Ideally, parents will consider together the ongoing financial needs of their son and daughter and be able to devise a way to support them financially where they are able and it is appropriate to do so.

Rebecca Procter


Tel: 01803 213251 / 01803 225158

Email: rebecca.procter@wollens.co.uk