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Who Pays for College After a Divorce?

In a divorce, a couples assets and responsibilities are divided up, especially when there are children involved. Custody and visitation are both important topics to discuss when a couple has children. When the time comes, a new battle may arise between parents about who will pay for their children's higher education.

Sometimes parents begin saving for college when their children are very young and the money has already been set aside by both parents for their children when they are ready for college. Often, though, parents and students must take out loans and money from their savings to pay for the education. It is a tough battle and is best to have been dealt with in the divorce settlement.

Child support payments usually stop when the child is between 18 and 21 years old, according to Jeffrey Landers, Divorce Financial Strategist. At that point, there is no legal obligation for the noncustodial parent to pay college tuition. The best way to guarantee money for college “is to include the obligation in your divorce settlement agreement.”

The following are two ways to do so:

  • Have the funds put into a trust account and ensure that they are available when needed.
  • Get an up-front payment and manage the funds so they are available when needed.

You may be able to get a court order to force the other parent to pay for the education if you are past the point of adding these terms to your divorce settlement. It is always best to consider every possible need of your children during the divorce, however, and ensure that even college payments are included in the divorce settlement.

If you are going through a divorce and you are concerned about how you will pay for your children's higher education, contact a family law attorney for assistance. Attorneys at the Roscich & Martel Law Firm in Naperville, Ill. can help you get those expenses covered today.

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