How your family can handle college expenses in a divorce

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2020 | Family Law

Going through a divorce in Texas can mean that your entire family has to adjust some of their expectations. Big parties, fancy vacations and designer goodies may no longer be a part of daily life. Still, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice important and necessary expenses, such as college.

However, parents often find themselves dipping into their savings account to fund a divorce, making it even harder for them to plan for their children’s ongoing education. Whether you expect to receive child support or pay it, you probably wonder if Texas child support will cover college expenses.

Standard child support ends with adulthood or high school graduation

For most parents paying child support in Texas, their obligation to do so will end when their child turns 18. However, if their kid has not graduated high school at that point, they may need to continue paying child support until graduation occurs. Even if the child graduates and goes immediately on to college, college expenses typically are not part of a standard child support order.

Are you and your ex on the same page about college expenses?

Sometimes, disagreements about parenthood are a major factor in why a couple divorces. Other times, they both want the same things for their kids but can’t remain together anymore. Provided that you and your ex both agree that college would benefit your child, the two of you can reach an informal agreement about college payments. It is also possible to make a formal arrangement if you file an uncontested divorce.

The courts uphold terms they wouldn’t set themselves in uncontested divorces

Typically speaking, the courts must follow specific rules when they are the ones making determinations in a contested divorce. However, if you and your ex either negotiate or go through mediation and resolve your issues, you can outline all of your decisions in an agreement and file an uncontested divorce.

While the Texas courts won’t order child support to continue through college, they may approve terms that include ongoing contributions by both parents into a college fund or arrangements to equally divide college expenses as they arise after the end of child support. If you want to protect your child’s educational future, a written agreement about college expenses between you and your ex can help ensure your kid will have the support they need.