In a case of first impression the Court of Appeals, in Drescher v. Gross, held that a marital settlement agreement, incorporated into a judgment of dissolution of marriage, wherein the parties agreed to equally pay for the future college expenses of their then three minor children, was enforceable and may be non-modifiable “by the parents’ express and specific agreement to restrict the court’s jurisdiction” to modify support.
This is because an agreement for adult child support made under Family Code section 3587 may limit the court’s jurisdiction to modify the order. The court has broad jurisdiction to order and modify minor child support orders. However, an order for adult support under section 3587 derives solely from the parents’ agreement to pay adult support, and the statute grants the court only the limited authority to “make a support order to effectuate the agreement.”
Consistent with this grant of limited authority, the Legislature expressly made the court’s general authority to modify a child support order under Family Code section 3651 “subject to” section 3587. “[T]he ‘subject to’ clause in section 3651 means an order for adult child support, when authorized exclusively by the parents’ agreement under section 3587, may be made non-modifiable by the parents’ express and specific agreement to restrict the court’s jurisdiction.”
Mr. Daymude consults with clients and accepts Family Law cases, including those involving the support of minor and adult children. For other types of cases accepted, please scroll the Home and My Practice pages. If you are seeking a legal consultation or representation, call Michael Daymude at 818-971-9409.