04 Jun Who Pays for Education Expenses After a Divorce?
There are a lot of things to think about when you get divorced. If you have children, things can become really complicated. One of the more complex aspects of a divorce is determining who pays for a child’s college tuition. In the State of Florida, (in most cases) it is up to the parents to come to an agreement on the issue.
Does Child Support Cover College Expenses?
In some cases, a judge will order child support to pay for college expenses. The amount of child support may be raised to allow for a portion of it to be put towards college, or it may be up to the custodial parent to save the child support for college. The judge may order a specific amount to be put towards college or may leave it up to the custodial parent to decide. In most cases where child support is ordered to cover college expenses, the custodial parent is expected to save that money for college. If he or she uses it for other things and there is not enough to pay for college, the custodial parent may have to pay the difference or repay the amount that child support was designated to pay.
How Is The Obligation For Child Support Determined?
If two parents are unable to come to an agreement on who is responsible for their child’s college expenses or cannot agree to share these costs a judge may make a final decision on who has to take responsibility for these expenditures. In these cases, the judge will take several things into consideration. These things include:
- The Income Of Both Parent – A judge will take both incomes into consideration and come up with a fair amount for each parent to pay towards college.
- Standard Of Living – Before coming to a decision on how much one or more parent should put towards college based on the standard of life the child would have had if the parents would not have gotten divorced. If the judge determines there were no means for the child to attend college, he or she may not order either parent to pay for it.
- Financial Resources – The judge will determine if there are any other financial resources available to the child to help with college expenses. These resources may include trusts, financial aid, and scholarships. If the child has alternative means of paying for college, neither parent may be obligated to do so.
- Grades And Academic Performance – The judge will consider the child’s academic performance to determine if he or she has good enough grades to attend college or if it wise to invest in the child’s education.
- Desire Of The Child – College isn’t for everyone, and there is no reason for a parent to pay for college if a child doesn’t want to go. Of course, some children are too young to make such a decision for themselves, but teenagers may be able to decide for themselves.
What Are The Typical College Expenses?
College expenses can vary by college and student, but, for the most part, they are all similar. Typical costs include:
•Room And Board
In most states, college expenses are considered a part of child support. Every situation is different, and there are many things that should be examined by the parents and a judge before a decision on financial responsibility for college can be made. If you feel that the other parent should be responsible for college expenses are have been ordered to pay for college but feel that the judgement is not fair, you can contact an attorney for help.
An attorney can help you come to an agreement with your ex-spouse, lower child support payments to make them more affordable, establish child support, enforce the use of child support for college expenses and straighten out any other issues you may be having with child support. Deciding who is responsible for college expenses isn’t easy, and you don’t have to figure it out on your own or fight with an ex-spouse. Let an attorney help you.