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Does Child Support Include Paying For College?

Posted on in Divorce

shutterstock_366568778.jpgWhen filing for a divorce with children involved, each spousal party will be required to uphold their individual parental responsibilities. This typically includes who will be the residential parent who primarily lives with the kids, dividing up parenting time, division of assets such as the home and child support payments. The majority of child support payments end when the child turns 18 years old. However, there are a few reasons why child support may be extended past the time the child becomes a legal adult. These reasons may include extenuating medical expenses or even paying for your child’s college education

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

Whether or not a parent is required to extend child support payments through the time the child is in college is determined by your divorce agreement. Judges will typically approve a divorce decree that allows the children to live with the assets they would most likely have had if the parents remained married. This means that if the two divorced parents would have been in a better financial situation to pay for college had they stayed married, a judge may elect to have the non-custodial parent help pay for tuition. 

How to Get My Ex-Spouse to Help Pay for College

During the time of your divorce, it may not have been explicitly stated if your spouse was going to extend child support payments into your child’s college education. Many times, children decide not to go to university and explore other secondary educational opportunities or jump right into the workforce after high school. If your ex-spouse was not originally obligated to help pay for college expenses, you can file for a new court order to extend his or her payments. 

For your child to be eligible to receive financial support payments from the spouse, they must:

  • Be under the age of 23 (some circumstances allow up to 25 years old)

  • Not yet have earned a Bachelor’s degree

  • Be single 

  • Have a GPA average of a “C” or better (2.0)

What Expenses Will College-Age Child Support Pay For?

If your child support order has been extended to include college tuition payments, you may be held responsible for any school or living expenses that occur during your child’s time in college. Child support payments through college are intended to pay for educational expenses such as:

  • Tuition 

  • Room and board 

  • Application and testing fees

  • Medical expenses

  • Living expenses 

  • Books and school supplies 

Both parents, and oftentimes, the adult child are required to split these payments in a way that reflects their individual abilities to pay. If one spouse has a higher income than the other, he or she may be required to pay more of the educational and living expenses. Similarly, if the college-age child is working a part-time or full-time job while receiving their education, they may also be asked by a judge to contribute to some of their payments. 

Find a DuPage County Child Support Attorney 

If you are looking to extend child support payments to ensure your child’s educational future, our DuPage County family attorney is eager to assist you. Here at Hensley Sendek Law, our office is available to answer any of your questions or concerns regarding how to extend your child support payments through college or division of payments throughout this exciting time in your child’s life. Call us today at 630-358-9029 to schedule your free initial legal consultation. 





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