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Do You Have To Pay For Your Child’s College Education After A Divorce?


Right after a divorce is finalized, it is not uncommon for one parent to pay child support. Even though child support encompasses many different facets of a child’s life/wellbeing, it doesn’t always include their college education. But, if a proper agreement is established prior to the finalizing of a divorce, it can.

 What Is The Purpose Of Child Support? 

The purpose of child support is to ensure that a child’s basic needs are taken care of. Some of these basic needs are as follows:

  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Clothing
  • Healthcare
  • Education

To ensure that these basic needs are met, the court will often order a non-custodial spouse to pay a monthly child support sum. The exact sum depends on a non-custodial spouse’s income, as well as the number of children that will be receiving child support.

Even though education is a key component of child support, the obligation to pay for a child’s education will only last until that child turns eighteen-years old or graduates from high school.

Since a parent’s child support agreement expires when that child graduates/turns eighteen, they are not legally obligated to pay for their child’s college education. The responsibility for doing so will, as a result of this, fall to either the child or their parent/guardian.

Even though there is no legal obligation for a former spouse to pay for their child’s college education, there is one legal practice that can force them to do so.

 What Is A Marital Settlement Agreement? 

A marital settlement agreement is a settlement agreement that two divorcing spouses can create and, then, legally enforce through the finalizing of their divorce..

Every marital settlement agreement contains a series of rights and responsibilities that both spouses must honor. Some of the topics these rights and responsibilities may involve are as follows:

  • Child Custody
  • Division Of Property
  • Child Visitation
  • Spousal Support
  • Child Support

Regarding the latter item, specific child support obligations can be included within a marital settlement agreement. Even though the court cannot order a parent to pay for their child’s college education, if both parents agree to it, the marital settlement agreement can stipulate that one parent must do so.

The same is true for the other topics that a marital settlement agreement often includes. A variety of stipulations that a court cannot legally order can be outlined in a marital settlement agreement.

When both spouses agree to the stipulations within their marital settlement agreement, they become legally bound to them. This allows the court to enforce these stipulations.

 Speak With A Tampa Divorce Lawyer Today 

A marital settlement agreement can stipulate that your former spouse will pay for your child’s college education. But, in order for this stipulation to be enforced, the marital settlement agreement must be written in the proper manner.

Speak with a Tampa divorce lawyer today. We will assist you in producing a proper marital settlement agreement that allows your child’s college education to be taken care of.





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