A divorce may allow you to end a relationship with your spouse. However, it doesn’t absolve you from paying for a portion of your child’s educational expenses. For instance, you may be required to cover the cost of private high school tuition or the cost of attending a Florida college. Let’s take a look at how you and your child’s other parent can split these costs in an equitable manner.
Include specific terms in a divorce decree
The divorce decree may include language that limits how much you are required to contribute toward educational expenses. It could also include a clause that allows you to have a say in choosing which college your child attends. In states such as New York, parental contributions are capped at the equivalent of what it would cost to send a son or daughter to a public school.
How much can you afford to pay?
Absent any specific language in a divorce decree, you might be required to pay whatever you can afford to contribute. This may be true even if that amount is more than you feel is reasonable to spend on a college education. It may be possible to keep costs to a minimum by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. The government will review the income information that you provide on the FAFSA to determine the types of financial aid your child might be entitled to.
A family law attorney may be able to help you learn more about your obligation to pay for a child’s education after a divorce. It may be possible to modify the terms of an existing divorce decree or child support order if your income declines significantly. This may also be true if you incur an unexpected expense.