The Iowa Court of Appeals has waded into a debate about whether unmarried biological parents can be ordered to help pay for their kids’ college expenses. The Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled in a Woodbury County case involving a woman who went to court to try to get the biological father of their daughter to help pay for the girl’s college education.
The Iowa Court of Appeals sided with the mother. The ruling cited a court order issued in 1989 which established that Edwin Beckner was the child’s father, and that the girl’s mother could go back to court to get him to help pay for their child’s higher education. But it was not a unanimous decision.
Judge Rosemary Shaw Sackett wrote a dissent, saying the man and woman were never married, and under current state law she believes court-ordered child support that extends to cover college expenses is intended for "children whose parents divorced."
In February the Iowa Senate passed a bill which would have let judges order unmarried parents to help foot the bill for college for their biological children, but the bill never passed the House.