Pursuant to Rhode Island Family Law, a parent cannot be ordered to pay for a child’s college education or private school education. If there is an agreed upon contract to pay college or high school expenses in writing, such marital settlement agreement / property settlement agreement is a contract which can be enforced by the Providence Family Court .
Rhode Island Family Court Judges and Magistrates will not order that either parent pay private school education.
Kent and Newport County Justices believe that there are suitable public schools in Rhode Island for a child to receive a proper education. Nonetheless, If there is a contract obligating a parent to pony up for the private school, then the parent may be ordered to comply with such contract.
Also, conceivably, in a divorce, a parent of a child already attending a private school such as Moses brown, Wheeler, PCD or another school could be ordered to continue to maintain the status quo to pay for private school on a temporary basis. This is especially the case when it is in the middle of a school year and it would be disruptive for the child to transfer to a public school. Rhode Island Family Court Judges and General Magistrates will typically approve property settlement agreement in which the parties agree to be legally obligated for private school or college education of their child or children
Can I get the other parent to be ordered to pay their fair share of the college education of my child in Rhode Island?
No, Unless there is a marital settlement agreement (msa) or property settlement agreement (psa) in which the parties agreed to such obligations. Under Rhode Island law, support of a child is eligible to be terminated when a child turns 18 and graduates high school but in no event after the child turns 19. (If the child has a severe disability then child support could continue indefinitely) The RI Family Court has no jurisdiction to order any payments or support for a child beyond the designated termination set forth above. The Providence Family Court cannot order payment of university, community college, technical college, or post high school education but the Providence Family Court will enforce a property settlement agreement (psa) between the husband and wife obligating payment of college. If you have further questions, please contact a Rhode Island child support lawyer or a RI Divorce attorney.
Citation and resources:
Akron Law Review Volume 19 | Issue 2 Article 1 1986 Parents’ Support Obligations To Their Adult Children Marvin M. Moore http://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1771&context=akronlawreview
National Conference of State Legislators, TERMINATION OF SUPPORT-COLLEGE SUPPORT BEYOND THE AGE OF MAJORITY http://www.ncsl.org/research/human-services/termination-of-support-college-support.aspx
More Rhode Island child Support articles