Friday, June 1, 2012

Payment of a Child's College Expenses Post Dissolution

Let’s face it- college is expensive. If you are divorced or considering a divorce and have children who are planning on attending college, you may have questions regarding post-secondary educational expenses.

The Court has the discretion to award post-secondary educational expenses and determine the amount or percentage each party and the child(ren) are responsible for.  In making this determination, the Court considers post-secondary education to be a group effort and looks at the ability of each parent to contribute to the expenses as well as the student’s ability to contribute to the expenses.
The Court looks at several factors when determining how much each party and the student must contribute.  For example, the court looks at each of the parties’ incomes and overall financial condition of the parents and the student, educational gifts, education trust funds, and any other education savings program.  The Court also takes into account scholarships, grants, student loans, and other cost-reducing programs available to the student.
Generally, a Court’s considers “educational expenses” to include tuition, books, lab fees, supplies, and student activity fees.  Room and board will also be included when the student resides on campus or otherwise is not with the custodial parent.  Typically, a Court will not require parties to contribute amounts in excess of what it would cost to send their child to an in-state public university for four-years.  However, as we often note in family law issues, parents and their children are able to reach agreements specific to the individual needs and circumstances.
If you are considering a divorce or currently face a divorce and have children who are planning on attending college, it is a good idea to discuss your situation with a Hollingsworth & Zivitz, PC family law attorney. Hollingsworth & Zivitz, PC serves clients in the greater Indianapolis area including Carmel, Fishers, Westfield, Noblesville, and Hamilton County, as well as Zionsville, Avon, Brownsburg, and the counties surrounding Marion County.
To discuss your divorce or family law issue with a Hollingsworth & Zivitz, PC attorney, call 317.DIVORCE or click here to contact us online.

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