Will you have to pay college support post-divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2019 | Family Law |

When you and your spouse part ways, one of you will have to pay child support to help cover the financial needs of your minor children. If you earn more than your child’s other parent, and if the Indiana court names the other parent the custodial parent, chances are you will be the parent to have to pay support. Upon hearing this, you may wonder, does support cover college education and related expenses? According to FindLaw, the answer depends.

Generally speaking, most states, including Indiana, prefer that parents address college expenses at the time of divorce. Doing this ensures that all support-related matters are settled long before an issue arises. If you and your spouse have the foresight to discuss college expenses during the divorce discussions, how do the courts decide who is to cover the majority of the costs and how much is reasonably fair for one parent to pay?

Just like when determining child custody, the courts consider several key factors when considering the issue of college expenses. The most relevant factors are the financial resources of both parents and each parents’ earning capacity. Financial resources include income, investments and savings, to name a few.

The second factor the courts will consider is the standard of living you and your spouse, as a couple, created for your child. Third, the courts will look to your child’s financial resources, including scholarships and financial aid. Finally, the judge may inquire about your child’s academic performance. If prior performance indicates that your child is unlikely to attend college, the issue of college support may become irrelevant.

It is important to note that college support would not just cover tuition. When calculating the cost of college, a judge takes into consideration all school-related expenses, including fees/dues, room and board, books, transportation, medical fees and necessary living expenses.

You should not use this article as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.