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Who pays for college after a divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2021 | divorce

As your child approaches adulthood, one of the things you may look into is helping them go to college. The cost of college is high, so it may make sense for them to have a part-time job while you and your spouse support at least some of their studies.

Divorce can make this a more difficult arrangement than it would have been if you and your ex-spouse were still living together. Additional expenses related to running your home or differences in opinion about your child’s education might make it harder to decide how to fund their studies. If you get remarried, this could influence your child’s right to financial aid.

After divorce, there may be no obligation to pay for college studies

Unless you and your ex-spouse work out a child support arrangement that includes sending your child to college, there may not be any obligation to pay for their college expenses. In an amicable divorce, you and your ex-spouse may agree to put a certain amount of money towards your child’s education. If you do, then get it in writing. The agreement becomes an obligation that both parents need to follow through on after getting court approval.

Your actions after a divorce might influence your child’s future education

Keep in mind that remarrying after divorce might influence your child’s right to student aid and other financing, so getting financial support from their parents may be one of the only ways to go to school. It’s possible that your income, your ex-spouse’s income and both of your new spouse’s incomes could be included on financial aid forms. This issue could lead to your child being ineligible for certain kinds of financial support that would cover their tuition.

College support may be optional, but it’s worth discussing

College support after a divorce can be an intricate topic to discuss, but it’s worth talking about how you want to approach it. You may also want to start looking into non-need-based support, such as merit-based scholarships, to help your child get the financial backing they need to attend the school of their choice.