US Girl Sued Parents For College Fees! Learn More About Maintenance for Children Above 21 Years Old in Singapore

Must divorced parents in Singapore pay for the maintenance of children above 21 years old?

Caitlyn Ricci’s parents are divorced. Financed by her grandparents, she successfully sued her parents in the US to pay $16,000 of her tuition fees. She won based on a 1982 case which states that divorced parents have the legal responsibility to pay for their children’s tuition.

Caitlyn’s parents appealed, saying that the decision was unconstitutional and refused to pay. Ricci, in return, sued her parents for contempt of court. Her father, when interviewed, indicated that he was not going to give any money until Caitlyn has a relationship with him and they start to heal as a family.

Caitlyn had left her father after she refused to help out with house chores and follow a curfew which was enforced when she became a repeated underage drinker. She then moved in with her paternal grandparents.

The US appellate court ruled in Caitlyn’s parents’ favour and wrote that: “a parent cannot be viewed as a ‘wallet’ and deprived of involvement of college decision making process.”

According to the US court, the obligation depends on whether the parents are involved in the decision-making process for college and if they are able to afford it.

See: Kaileen Gaul, “’A parent is not a wallet’: Court rules in favor of parents who refused to pay ‘spoilt’ daughter’s $16,000 college tuition fees after three year court battle against their only child”, MailOnline, 11 February 2017

Maintenance of children above 21 years old

Under the Women’s Charter (Singapore), an application for the maintenance of a child above the age of 21 may be made by the child himself/ herself.

The Court will not grant a maintenance order unless it is satisfied that maintenance is necessary because:

(a) the child suffers from a mental or physical disability;
(b) the child is or will be serving full-time national service (NS);
(c) the child is or will be studying or undergoing vocational training; or
(d) special circumstances exist.

See: Section 69 of the Women’s Charter (Singapore)

For questions on maintenance of children above 21 years old, please contact us today!

You may also be interested to read more about:

1. Divorce and Separation

2. Annulment (Nullity) of Marriage

3. Children’s Issues

4. Matrimonial Assets

5. Maintenance Issues (Alimony)

6. Family Violence

For more information, please contact us here.

Leave a Comment