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JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12092
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985, ailments are payable

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Under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985, ailments are payable to a child under 25.
The child in question is 24 next month. I have supported him financially through private school 4 years at a Scottish university and a further 12 months for a Masters degree, also at a Scottish university. He now wants to do a PhD starting this September. Am I obliged to support him until his 25th Birthday? Is such support "reasonable" within S.1 of the 1985 Act? He says he needs it to be a lecturer in English.
Thank you for your question.

The test is whether it is reasonable an appropriate. You have supported him through an undergraduate degree and a masters degree. It is arguable that it is not reasonable and appropriate for you to support him through a third qualification. Most PH.D. Students get work at the university or elsewhere to support them thought their course.

I would resist further payments on the basis that you have done your bit and more. Or your son does the PH.D. Closer to home so that you can support him in your own house.

Happy to discuss further.

Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. I would have liked something more concrete in terms of any precedents dealing with Scottish PhDs, rather than "try and not pay and see what happens as you've probably done enough already" sort of thing which is how I interpret your advice. But I will follow your advice in any event.

There are no precedents that I am aware of concerning PHDs. Most of these cases are not reported as they are dealt with in the sheriff court and involve young people. The reports cases that there are deal with the obligation to get a job part time if that is realistic and how the resources of parent and child have to be taken into account.

There are several articles online that you can look at including

but no cases directly in point. The issue of what is reasonable an appropriate will vary on a case by case basis and that is probably another reason that there is no precedent that would give you the black and white answer you would like.
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