Mary K. Quinn
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Have you addressed college tuition for your kids in your divorce?

| Jun 8, 2020 | Divorce |

Going through a divorce can mean dealing with a feeling of chaos in many areas of your life. From where you live to the time you spend with your children, many things that you may have once taken for granted could change dramatically in the matter of a few days.

Suddenly, instead of living with your spouse and children, you find yourself paying child support and only seeing your children on scheduled days due to shared custody. Although you love your children, you may also want to plan your financial future, which includes understanding what obligations you have regarding child support.

If your children are likely going to attend college, will you have to pay child support through college, or does it end before then?

Texas handles support obligations on a case-by-case basis

There is no specific rule about college that applies to 100% of child support situations in Texas, especially when it comes to the length of support. In general, if the courts alone make the determination about child support, it is common for them to order support until the children turn 18 or graduate from high school.

However, if you and your spouse have your own attorneys, negotiating for other common life expenses is common practice, including making arrangements for child support to continue through college.

In other words, you and your ex may have to really sit down and talk about how you intend to pay for college. Your child support arrangements could last through either your child’s graduation from college or when they drop out or cease pursuing their higher education.

Funding college doesn’t have to happen through child support

Child support is a common tool to compel one parent to contribute financially to the support of their children shared with a former partner. However, as a loving parent, you want to do what is best for your children, not just the legal minimum.

If you believe that your child could benefit from a college degree and will likely pursue one, sharing in those costs can be a great way to support your children. You may want to make arrangements with your ex for both of you to continue contributing to a college savings fund even after the divorce. You may also make arrangements that don’t go through the Texas courts to continue sharing expenses when your child eventually graduates and heads off to college.