When child support and college tuition merge

When minors turn 18-years-old, they become legal adults. As a result, society tends to expect them to fend for themselves financially and socially unless their parents choose to help them out in some way. However, courts seem to be increasingly embracing the idea of ordering non-custodial parents to pay college tuition support as an extension of either divorce settlements or general child support obligations.

Sometimes, this kind of support is willingly negotiated as part of a couple’s divorce settlement. When it is a negotiated aspect of the process, it can provide parents the opportunity to divert funds for their child’s education and to protect those funds from use by either parent for other purposes. However, sometimes this form of support is ordered in such a way that the obligation surprises either or both parents.

In addition, sometimes parents will opt to file for a modification of existing support orders in order to either guarantee that a child’s education will be provided for or in order to reduce parental obligations to pay for a child’s education due to a variety of circumstances.

If you have questions about how college tuition support could potentially affect your divorce settlement or existing child support obligations, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced family law attorney with your questions. Whether you are eager to help finance your child’s education or believe that he or she should remain financially responsible for choosing to attend college, an attorney can help you determine which legal options are open to you.

Source: Findlaw Law & Daily Life, “Does Your Divorce Settlement Cover College Tuition?” Brett Snider, March 12, 2014

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