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Education is considered a human right, just like food, shelter and social involvement but what are the considerations regarding tertiary education and a child maintenance agreement? Is a parent whose duty is to pay regular maintenance also expected to pay for tertiary education?

At tertiary level, a child has reached an age where he/she is considered an adult. As an 18-year-old, the child may be an adult, but may not yet be considered self-supporting. 

A parent is only expected to pay for tertiary education if he/she has the financial means. Furthermore, the child is expected to pass subjects at university. When he/she shows trends of failure or negligence, then it is no longer the parent’s responsibility to pay for tertiary education.

It is both parents’ duty to care for an adult child when they are unable to do so themselves. Children studying in a university are most often unable to provide for themselves, and therefore parents will need to cover costs such as tertiary fees, textbooks, food, accommodation and transport.

A parent is no longer expected to provide maintenance for a child when the child is of an age and capacity to find a job and earn an income. 

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