Who Pays For Your Child’s College?
When couples go through a divorce, there are a variety of financial scenarios that can play out. Some people divide assets and then move forward as completely financially independent from one another. In other situations, the terms of the divorce might include alimony payments. When children are involved, it’s also common for one parent to provide monthly child support and other forms of financial compensation. Most often, these decisions are discussed and settled at the time of the divorce. One topic that might not come up though, especially if you have young children, is the conversation about who should pay for your child’s college education. This is an expensive investment, and it’s worth looking into how this can play out in Connecticut.
Start The Conversation Early
The best way to avoid a difficult conversation when your child is in high school is to consider the question of who will pay for a college education when you’re initially dividing property and assets and determining the child support terms. Once you have agreed on how this secondary education will be financed, this can be written into the terms of the divorce agreement. Many couples opt to start contributing to a college fund when their children are young, to ease the sudden burden of paying for it all at once. Divorcing couples might consider the same option.
Understanding Legal Obligations
Maybe your divorce has already been finalized, and you’re beyond the point of negotiating financial obligations. In this case, what happens? According to Connecticut state law, parents are required to support a child who has been accepted into a state university for a total of four years and until they are 23 years old. The child must also maintain a certain grade point average and be enrolled in classes as a full-time student. The financial responsibility does not extend beyond the tuition and board of the University of Connecticut’s current fees.
The question becomes – which parent is responsible? Are both equally responsible, or does the financial burden fall more on one parent? This is where the court can step in to make a decision on how much each parent is financially responsible for contributing. Considerations will include:
- Annual income – Does one parent make a significantly larger salary?
- Current employment statuses – Is one parent unemployed, and are they unable to work in order to provide care for a younger child?
- Medical issues – Are there any medical issues prohibiting one parent from getting and keeping a job?
- Other financial obligations – Are there any outstanding debts, the threat of bankruptcy, or other obligations that would make paying for college impossible?
Contact A Stamford Family Law Attorney Today
Initiating a conversation about financial responsibility can be difficult, regardless of if you are going through a divorce, or if you are opening a new discussion with your ex. An experienced family law attorney can help guide these conversations regarding child support and will work to advocate for you and your child’s best interest. Call the Stamford lawyers at the LAW OFFICES OF PIAZZA & SIMMONS, LLC today at 203-936-6772. You can also reach us online. We are here and ready to review the details of your situation and work towards a positive resolution.