Jenkins P.C.

Who will pay for your child’s college education?

Divorce requires you and your spouse to split up all of your assets, including savings accounts, retirement funds, stock holdings, estate and more. When struggling to come to an agreement on splitting these assets, your child’s college education cost may be forgotten about.

It is important to discuss who will pay for your child’s higher education in your divorce settlement. Although some states require divorcing parents to discuss potential college costs, California does not. If you don’t discuss your child’s education, you may be stuck paying for all, or most, of your child’s tuition bill.

Do you have to pay?

Although neither you or your spouse are legally obligated to pay for college for you child, many parents do. As parents, you and your ex-spouse may want to be able to provide your child with a college education, but if you don’t make stipulations in your divorce agreement, your ex-spouse may refuse to pay, leaving you with the bill.

Write up an agreement

During your divorce, you should write up an agreement regarding your child’s college costs. Maybe your spouse is willing to equally split the cost with you. If not, you can negotiate based on other assets you are disputing and come to an agreement before your divorce is settled.

Make stipulations about what would happen in the event that your child does not go to college. What if they fail multiple classes and have to extend the typical four-year college experience to six or more years, costing more money? You will want to define stipulations in the agreement.

Even though neither parent is required to pay for their child’s college education, many parents want to give their child access to higher education. If you remember to discuss tuition costs during your divorce settlement, it may save you from asking your ex-spouse for money down the road or paying the full tuition cost on your own.

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