Both the Supreme Court and the Provincial Court of British Columbia can make orders for child support. Generally child support is paid until the age of majority, which in British Columbia is until age 19. However, child support may still be payable after a child’s 19th birthday if that child by reason of illness, disability or other cause still needs financial assistance from a parent.
Often the pursuit of a post-secondary education is a valid reason for continued support, if the child’s educational pursuits are reasonable and it is appropriate for the parents to finance the child’s education. There are many relevant factors to be considered in determining whether an educational pursuit is reasonable. These factors are conveniently set out in a case called Farden v. Farden (1993) 48 R.F.L. (3rd) 60 as follows:
1. Whether the child attends school on a part-time or full-time basis;
2. Whether the child is eligible for student loans or other financial assistance;
3. Whether the child’s career plans are reasonable and attainable;
4. The child’s ability to contribute to his or her own education through part-time employment;
5. The child’s age;
6. The child’s past academic performance and whether the child has demonstrated success in their course of studies;
7. The parents’ plans for the education of their child, if any, that were made during the parents’ relationship; and
8. Whether the child has unilaterally terminated the relationship with the parent from whom support is sought.