If you’re headed toward
divorce and you have minor children, you may be wondering about college expenses.
Are you legally obligated to pay for your child’s college? Can the
courts force you to pay for your child’s college education?
In Pennsylvania, parents are required to pay
child support until their children reach the age of 18, or until they graduate high
school. Parents are NOT legally required to pay for a child’s college
expenses. So, your obligation to support your child ends when he or she
turns 18 or graduates high school, whichever happens later.
You can however, agree to pay your child’s college expenses via a
postnuptial agreement or through your
divorce settlement. But, many divorce attorneys advise against this practice unless the individual
is wealthy. If you are considering entering into a contractual agreement
to pay your child’s college expenses, be sure to consider these
possibilities before signing on the dotted line:
- What if your child decides to attend a trade school instead of a four-year college?
- What if your child earns a full scholarship to an in-state college?
- What if your child decides to major in something like art, entrepreneurship
or drama when you want him or her to study something like business, economics,
law, or medicine?
- What if your child can’t decide on a major and they stay in college
beyond the standard four years?
- What if your child stops talking to you?
- What if you don’t like the school your child and the other parent choose?
- What if you refuse to pay expensive tuition?
Essentially, if you agree to pay your child’s college expenses, it’s
important to consider all of the possibilities and discuss them with your
divorce attorney. The goal is to have your attorney address your concerns
in a clearly drafted property settlement agreement. This way, you can
discuss the possible changes in the future and hopefully prevent disputes
before they arise.
“PA Child Support Laws Beyond 18.”
Looking for a
Pennsylvania no-fault divorce lawyer?
Contact Cairns Law Offices today to schedule a
free case evaluation.