The University of New Hampshire Law Review


[Excerpt] “Divorced parents in New Hampshire can rest a little easier these days. While there are a myriad of economic reasons why a divorce can become contentious, financing a child’s college education can no longer be included among those reasons. In January 2004, in a rather bold and unconventional move, the New Hampshire legislature overruled years of legal precedent and enacted a new statutory amendment that should alleviate some of the financial pressures divorced parents inevitably face. The amendment, RSA § 458:17(XI-a), is a victory for divorcees across the state because it prohibits superior court judges from issuing orders forcing divorced parents to contribute to their adult child’s college expenses. […]

This article will use the recent New Hampshire amendment, prohibiting judges from ordering parents to pay for college expenses, as a backdrop for advocating that all states pass similar statutes. Part II of this article begins with a discussion of the state of the law in New Hampshire before the statute was amended in 2004. Next, the article discusses the relevant portions of the recent New Hampshire amendment. The article next outlines laws from various states in order to compare and contrast views from the rest of the country. In Part III, the focus shifts to the equal protection arguments both for and against divorced parents in relation to mandatory post-secondary education orders. Part IV of this article will analyze the laws from various states and address problems courts have either failed to address or have inadequately addressed. Finally, this article concludes by advocating in favor of the New Hampshire amendment and arguing that other states should follow New Hampshire’s lead and adopt similar versions of RSA § 458:17(XI-a).”

Repository Citation

Ryan C. Leonard, New Hampshire Got it Right: Statutes, Case Law and Related Issues Involving Post- Secondary Education Payments and Divorced Parents, 4 Pierce L. Rev. 505 (2006), available at http://scholars.unh.edu/unh_lr/vol4/iss3/7