Will College Expenses Factor Into Child Support Arrangements?
Every single parent is required to financially support his or her children. Upon divorce, the child has a right to support from the non-custodial parent. The amount of child support paid depends on various factors, such as each parent’s income, the custody arrangement and special needs the child may have.
Generally, parents are only required to make child support payments until the child reaches the age of majority (18 years old in most states) or becomes self-sufficient. The definition of self-sufficient can vary from location to location. In some cases, reaching the age of 18 is considered to satisfy the self-sufficiency requirement. However, there are other cases in which the state might consider attendance at college or an institution of higher learning to delay emancipation (self-sufficiency), in which case college expenses could factor into child support arrangements.
Here are a few examples of some factors a court will consider when determining whether or not to extend child support arrangements after the age of 18:
- Attendance at an institution of higher education and whether or not the parent would have been contributing toward those costs had the family remained intact
- How much of a contribution to higher education costs the child requires
- Each parent’s ability to pay those costs
- The child’s ability to earn income throughout the school year and during breaks
- The child’s ability to earn financial aid, grants, loans and scholarships
- The child’s relationship with the paying parent
For more information about whether or not a child support arrangement can be extended to cover college expenses, contact a skilled divorce lawyer at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.