When Going Through a Divorce, Who’s Responsible for Your Children’s College Education?

Jar of money sitting next to college books.

When you are starting to go down the path of divorce, there are many things to keep in mind, especially when you have children.

No matter your children’s current age, you and your partner should plan for their future. One never knows if their future will include college or beyond.

When you are paying child support, your payments can be spent on any educational needs – private schools, extra-curricular activities, or support needs such as computers, etc.

But when your child enters college or graduate school where tuition is required, California law does not require parents to pay for college when the child becomes of age. However, you can address is in your Marital Settlement Agreement if you both agree.

When your child is very young, it may be hard to foresee and create a monetary plan for college within the divorce agreement.  However, even if you did not address it in the initial agreement, you can add it in before the child comes of age.   It is best to discuss the educational and financial needs for college in a formal atmosphere, i.e., with a family law attorney as there can be significant legal implications.

Accounts set aside for the education of your child should be addressed in any divorce agreement, whether the accounts are in the name of the child with a parent as trustee, or in the name of one or both parents.

Our team of experts can help you and your spouse create a plan within your divorce agreement that deals with how a college or vocational school will be paid for or that you both agree to revisit this when the child becomes a certain age before they come of age.

The Collaborative Practice of San Diego is a nonprofit, multi-disciplinary referral network of independent professionals of attorneys, mental health professionals and financial advisors working together to learn, practice, and promote Collaborative processes for problem-solving and the peaceful resolution of family law issues in regard to co-parenting, with an eye toward preserving the emotional, as well as the financial assets of the family.

Contact us today to learn how to develop a divorce agreement that plans for your children’s future when they become of age.

Note: This information is general in nature and should not be construed as legal/financial/tax/or medical advice. You should work with your attorney, financial, medical or tax professional to determine what will work best for your situation.

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