Kids, Co-Parenting, and Paying for College

co-parentingThere are two common courses of action parents take when planning out tuition payments post-divorce: establishing a college tuition agreement, or starting a trust account to accumulate funds over time. Although the latter is great for saving up tuition funds, co-parenting towards a suitable tuition agreement is much more thorough and considerate of your child’s academic future. Learn more about how co-parenting can help with paying for college post-divorce, and be sure to contact a family law expert for help with tuition agreements or broader parenting plans. 


Child Support Laws In California

Some states, such as Illinois, allow for child support extensions to cover tuition once a child turns 18. If the court deems it necessary, parents also must submit financial aid documents, pay for up to five college applications, two college entrance exams, and one standardized college entrance preparation course. This isn’t the case in California, where there are no provisions allowing for adult child support. Therefore, the vast majority of California divorces result in no child support for tuition, rooming, and other related college expenses. While this takes some of the weight off of the lesser earner, it leaves questions as to how divorced OC parents should approach paying off their children’s college tuition. 


Figuring Out a Tuition Agreement 

Coming to a tuition agreement requires some healthy communication and collaboration from each partner. This can be a daunting task depending on what stage you’re at in your divorce, so it’s completely understandable if a separation is too fresh or emotional to comfortably negotiate. Still, remaining on the same page regarding your child’s plan moving forward is of the utmost priority. 

By giving co-parenting a try, as discussed in a previous blog, parents can bridge marital conflicts by coming together over the needs of their children. It’s a largely collaborative type of divorce which prioritizes your children and their parenting plan moving forward. Just keep in mind that when drafting a parenting plan, it’s crucial to include an agreement regarding college expenses which outlines certain details:

  • Does your agreement consider varying tuition rates for private, public, and out-of-state schools?
  • What other expenses, besides tuition, are covered? Are meals, room and board, course materials, and living expenses accounted for?
  • How will payments be made, and is there a payment schedule?
  • Is your child subject to any prerequisites for tuition payments to continue, such as reaching or maintaining a certain GPA?
  • Are you including a provision to prevent unexpected modifications to the agreement in the future?

With this information decided and agreed upon, you and your ex-spouse can rest easy knowing a plan is in place. If you have any questions pertaining to how to draft a parenting plan, or need mediation services to reach an agreement, The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens is here to help. Visit our website to learn more, or to request a free consultation for your case.


Give Co-Parenting a Try with a Settlement-Minded Family Law Attorney

Divorce is an emotional journey to endure. On top of the bitterness and anger which often result from a formal separation, the subsequent legal battles tend to make the whole process even more painful. At the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens, we revel in the power of choice. When spouses face divorce, they’re presented with a slew of decisions with a handful of potential outcomes. Our attorneys are believers in the best possible outcome, where a former couple chooses peace over destruction, so that they can finally move onto their next chapter. We can help with that. No matter your desired path – mediation, a negotiated settlement, or even litigation – The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens will achieve the best possible outcome by reaching a settlement that keeps all involved parties in mind. Visit our website to review our family law services or contact us online for a free consultation.

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