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Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Indiana Decisions - Supreme Court decides one today

In David P. Allen v. Kimberly W. Allen, a 7-page, 4-0 opinion, Justice David writes:

This case presents the question of whether a trial court may order that divorced parents be obligated to pay the graduate or professional school expenses of their adult children pursuant to the Indiana child support statutes. While the statutory provision at issue provides for payment of “postsecondary” educational expenses, the term postsecondary is undefined. Today we hold that the term “postsecondary,” as used in the provision permitting an award for postsecondary educational expenses, does not include graduate or professional school expenses. * * *

We hold that the term “postsecondary,” as used in Ind. Code § 31-16-6-2, does not include graduate or professional school expenses, particularly in light of other action by the Legislature that limits parents’ financial obligations to their adult children, and the fact that an interpretation including graduate and professional school expenses would make Indiana an outlier on this issue without a clear expression by the Legislature that it intends that result. We therefore reverse the trial court’s order that Father pay the costs of his daughter, Hunter’s, dental school.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 1, 2016 12:50 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions