The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently addressed, in an unpublished decision, whether a father’s lack of involvement in college choices relieves him of his responsibility to pay for college for the minor child. Under North Carolina law, the payment of college expenses is not required of parents as part of North Carolina child support. However, sometimes parents agree to pay for college expenses and include those provisions in their separation agreement.
In this case, a father breached a separation agreement with his wife by failing to pay for his son’s college expenses. The agreement obligated the father to pay all of the son’s college expenses but he failed to pay for any of them because he argued that the agreement required both parties to participate in the college decision making process, and he did not participate. The father’s failure to participate in the college selection process was insufficient to negate his obligation to pay for his son’s expenses. The North Carolina Court of Appeals also holds that the father’s obligation was only for undergraduate education and that he was not responsible for decades of post-graduate education.
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