Post separation support

In NC a parent’s obligation to pay child support ends when the child turns 18 or has graduated from high school, unless you have something written into your separation agreement. I would suggest that you do the following:

  1. Run the child support calculator on this website to see what the figure comes up.
  2. Be prepared to negotiate with your (ex) husband about tuition/loans etc.
    They are his children as well and I am sure he will want them to go to college. It sounds as though you both did a great job with them and it is unfortunate that your marriage has fallen apart. The good thing is that if you are claiming the children and your income is substantially less than your ex’s then they will be eligible for much more financial aid,grants and should also be applying for scholarships and checking into taking out loans - like everyone else.

The court date that you have is for post separation support or alimony. This has nothing to do with child support. What your STBX spends on himself or how he lives has little to do with child support. If you are not a dependent spouse then it’s unlikely that you would receive alimony. You could possibly be awarded a post spousal support amount but that could be limited to a lump sum or to a time frame.
In almost every divorce sacrifices have to be made. You should not expect to live the same as you did before separating simply because it was not you who instigated the separation. You are still both entitled to 1/2 the marital assets and debts.
No, your children should not have to no go to college because of this, but have it put into the papers that you each pay a portion of college the same as you would were you still together. And they should be trying to get scholarships, grants and loans of their own as a lot of others do.

Your attorney cannot ask for college costs to be paid. In North Carolina, the court does not have the ability to continue support once the child has graduated from high school and cannot order either party to pay for college.

If you have questions about what to expect in your particular PSS hearing you should ask your attorney as they are aware of the specific facts of your case. Generally the court makes a determination of PSS and Alimony based on your needs alone, the needs of the children are addressed using child support.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

10925 David Taylor Drive, Suite 100
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

H and I go to court next week for post separation hearing before a judge. Does anyone know what this is like. I am the plaintiff and get to state my needs. H is currently giving X and needs are 3X. I am thinking the judge might settle for 2X. All my needs are justified and I am just asking that the kids enjoy their standard of living prior to separation. (H currently is living in adultery and we have proof of excessive spending on his part for selfish needs)Our oldest of 4 children is 18 and will graduate from HS next month than off to UNC. Lawyer didn’t put any mention of college costs into needs asssessment. I’m afraid H will not pay for college if he is forced to pay more than he is paying now. What he is paying doesn’t pay for all the costs of the house and the kids and I’m using credit cards and going in debt.

We have 4 high achieving children who will all go to college and graduate school (both parents are professonals) Our son is just the oldest. Am I in for a long haul fighting for college support.

How and when will my attorney ask for college costs to be paid. August is approaching fast and already I bills to pay to UNC.