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CHILDREN AREN’T GUARANTEED COLLEGE SUPPORT IF THEY MISTREAT A PARENT

Mississippi is in the lead nationally in extending the support obligation to age 21 (instead of 18) and in requiring parents to pay for college if the child has the ability to go and the parents have the ability to pay. However, the right to go to college is not absolute. A child must show proper respect to a parent if he wishes to take advantage of the expensive opportunity of a college education. This law first evolved with a case in 1980 where a child has refused to speak to his father over the course of six years and professed hate for his father. Hambrick v. Prestwood 382 So. 2d 474 (Miss. 1980).

The recent case of Blakely v. Blakely, No. 2010-CA-01948-COA (Decided May 15, 2012) seems to increase the risk of losing college support by affirming a chancellor’s decision to deny college support to a daughter who was mad at her mother for having an affair, called her a “whore,” and refused to communicate with her after her parent’s separation. The Court of Appeals rejected the Father’s argument that the child could not be blamed for being mad at her Mother for having an affair and that her anger was understandable.