Education Costs and Children in Divorce

Divorce is never easy. The uncoupling of two people who promised to spend the rest of their lives together can be  ugly.  This is especially true in cases where children are involved.  When it comes time to defer responsibilities and costs, child support is usually the number one issue that’s discussed during the proceedings. This is because this can be an on-going expense that can last for years, depending on the age of the child and the amount arranged in the settlement. Although child support is usually awarded to the custodial parent to help with child-rearing costs, rarely is the price of education discussed. In most states, child support lasts until the child is 18 and becomes legally an adult, but what about college and future education costs? Who is responsible for that? Unfortunately, most states do not stipulate any sharing of education costs, some even going so far as to mention specifically that college expenses are not covered by child support. So what does this mean for the primary parent? Typically, it means that the financial burden rests on their shoulders. It’s important to note as well that education costs usually mean the price of tuition for a private school or university, and generally don’t cover things like school supplies and clothes. The reason for this is that the residential parent is assumed to cover these expenses, using child support funds as needed to help cover them. Most states, in fact, will not specify school supplies within a settlement. In Ohio, however, should you and your spouse decide, you can arrange for a separate clause within the child support agreement that discloses education expenses. Typically this is for private school, and doesn’t necessary cover a university, but you can work with your lawyer and judge to determine if those costs can’t be mitigated by the support parent. The amount is determined by a variety of factors, most notably the earnings of the support parent and the custodial parent. As college tuition gets higher and higher, planning ahead for these expenses can alleviate your burden in the long run. If you have any questions regarding your legal rights in a divorce, including child support payments and education costs, contact us today, and we can help you through this difficult process. Serving Grove City and Columbus, Ohio, we can provide the services you need to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *