With students once again heading off to college, it is a good time to review the new law which may apply to you if you pay child support and have established a higher education savings plan for your 18-21 year old child.
Generally, child support payments made to a child attending school must come directly out of your pocket each month. However, a new provision has been added to ORS 107.108, which applies to those parents paying child support for college students but who have also established a “higher education savings plan.” When this is the case, the new law allows a court to order that child support payments be made to the child from savings plan funds instead of ordering support payments to be paid directly out of your pocket.
Under the new statute, a “higher education savings plan” is a plan in which a tax-advantaged account has been established by a parent on behalf of a child for the purposes of paying qualified higher education expenses at eligible educational institutions. If you have a question about whether your higher education savings plan qualifies under this provision, contact your attorney or financial planner so the proper steps can be taken to utilize this new law for the benefit of both you and your child. Additional information on this topic is available at the Oregon Department of Justice – Division of Child Support website at http://dcs.state.or.us.