Does child support extend to college tuition payments?

By |2022-04-06T19:29:09+00:0019 May 2016|Categories: Child Support|

Does child support extend to college tuition payments?

When divorcing parents work out the terms of a child support agreement, consideration is given to the amount needed to help maintain the lifestyle to which the child is accustomed. This is of particular concern in situations where one or both parents are high-income earners.

Maintaining an accustomed lifestyle can be extremely important for a child’s emotional well-being. After all, it can be very stressful for a child to watch his or her parents go through a divorce. Keeping lifestyle changes to a minimum can help provide the child with a sense of stability.

But often parents only focus on the child’s current needs, without giving enough consideration to what will happen in the years to come. For example, what if when the child gets older, he or she wants to attend college? Many young people grow up expecting that they will be able to pursue a college degree. So does a support-paying parent have an obligation to contribute money toward this worthy endeavor?

Well, in California, the answer is no, a parent holds no legal obligation to help a child pay for tuition. But the good news is that it is possible to include stipulations regarding the payment of higher education costs in the body of your child support agreement.

Having terms that cover college tuition costs in a support agreement is important on many levels. First, as you likely know, college can be very expensive and you and the child will need all the financial support you can obtain. Secondly, by knowing that he or she has money earmarked for college, your child has greater motivation for academic achievement, which can lead to having a happier more productive life.

To best ensure that all of your child support bases are covered, including terms regarding college tuition, you may wish to contact an experienced California family law attorney. The attorney could assess your child’s present and future needs and work on your behalf to create a support agreement tailored to help serve those needs.

About the Author:

Dorie Anne Rogers - The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
Dorie A. Rogers, a Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California, has been an attorney since 1981 with an exclusive family law practice located in Orange County. She is accepting dissolution cases with support and property issues including the use of forensics to ascertain business value, community interests and to establish monthly case flow analysis. Ms. Rogers has substantial experience in high conflict custody litigation involving sophisticated psychological issues. She drafts premarital and postmarital agreement designed to define and establish parties' separate and community property interests. Paternity cases and domestic violence matters are considered part of her practice. Ms. Rogers is a court-approved and court-appointed to represent minor children.Ms. Rogers consults with individuals concerned about entering or exiting a relationship. She advises effective strategies for dissolution or premarital planning. Knowledge is power and good planning affords better results.Specialties: Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California
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