Child Support for College Expenses

Child Support

Making the right decisions for college expenses

Child support for college expenses is something parents need to think about during divorce. In general, parents want what is best for their children and many pay for their children's college educations. However, divorce is a confusing time. Finances become strained as divorcing couples figure out how to divide marital property and prepare for different lifestyles. Even so, it is better to make decisions during divorce regarding college expenses. If you fail to deal with the issue now, you may still need legal help with it further down the road.

Under Texas law are there legal obligations regarding child support for college expenses?

The Texas Family Code requires that parents support a child until the age of 18 or until high school graduation, whichever occurs later. In addition, Texas courts render decisions based on “the best interest of the child.” While the law does not obligate you to pay for your child’s college, many families support their child’s education. If you decide to pay for college, you can do it by paying off student loans or funding their education.

Incorporate college expenses into your divorce settlement

During divorce, you and your spouse should discuss college expenses. One option is to find out whether financial aid would be available. If the parent with the lowest income has primary custody, this could work to your advantage when applying for financial aid.

There are many details to consider. Should you split the costs in half, divide it differently or have each parent pay for specific expenses? Specific expenses might include:

  • Room and board on campus
  • Expense for apartment and food if living off-campus
  • College tuition and books
  • Travel expenses to return home for holidays and summer vacation
  • Vehicle expenses for a car while on campus

Once you agree on the details, your lawyers can draft a divorce settlement agreement that incorporates your specifications.

At Pfister Family Law, our attorneys can help you with divorce. We are glad to discuss the advantages of various options and answer any questions you have.

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