College Funding During a Divorce


college funding during divorce

There are many important decisions to be made during a divorce. When children are involved, these decisions can be even more complicated and may require help from an experienced divorce lawyer like those at Men’s Legal Center. One example of an area in which parents may need help in planning for the future is in college funding.

Do I Have to Pay for My Child’s College Education?

Children do not have an automatic right to a college education unless the parents live in a state that requires payment of child support up to age 21.  California generally ends child support obligations at age 18.  This means that neither parent is generally held responsible for providing college tuition.  However, if money has already been put aside for the child’s education, one spouse may be able to compel the other to pay sums toward the child’s college degree, especially if the spouses previously opened a 529 plan to fund college tuition.

While parents in general are free from any obligation to pay for college, many parents will agree to do so in order to ensure that the child has the best possible opportunities.  This may facilitate an agreement between you and your spouse in which each of you agree to provide part of the college expenses.

Planning for College Expenses

The best way to plan for college expenses is to ensure that your child’s college account is funded to the greatest degree possible prior to his or her 18th birthday.  This may be possible through your child support agreement.  If you can craft an agreement in which part of the child support payments are designated for the child’s college fund, you may be able to offset some of the cost of future education.  There are many plans that allow your money to grow in order to have enough money in your child’s account by the time he or she is ready to go to college; talk to your tax consultant or your accountant about your options.

If you are currently divorcing and want to ensure your child’s financial future is protected, turn to the team at Men’s Legal Center in San Diego. We have a thorough understanding of divorce law and can help you make the best decisions for your child, from custody to child support and other issues. We will ensure you and your child’s rights are fully protected throughout the divorce process.  Call us today for a consultation about your case and learn how we can help you protect your child’s future.

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