Who Has To Pay College Expenses in a Divorce

Posted by Thomas MallonDec 16, 20150 Comments

Who Has To Pay College Expenses in a Divorce

Both parents have a legitimate obligation to support their child(ren). Since 1990, Maryland has had child support regulations/guidelines for all intents and purposes, which give a system for calculating child support based on a proportion of each parents gross earnings. These regulations are applied and are presumptively correct unless a party can demonstrate that utilization of the regulations would be improper in a specific case, siting the main reason as not being in the child's best interest.

During a faithful relationship (marriage), support is not often a concern for the court. However when parents divorce or stop living together with their children as a family, the courts often become involved. The court is frequently required to make a decision how much support the non-custodial parent has to pay. The custodial parent is the one who mainly stays with the child; the non-custodial parent does not, although he or she might have moderate visitation. Like custody, the amount of support can be determined by agreement or by battling it out in the court of law. You can keep away from making child support a contested issue, and the lawful expense of litigating this issue before a Judge. Both spouse can agree to the proper amount of child support and make this agreement part of a marital separation agreement.

When it comes to the issue of who has to pay college expenses in a divorce in Maryland, the court cannot forcefully order either parent to contribute towards college expenses of a child, since the obligation to pay child support ends when the child reaches age 18 except the child is registered in high school, at that time until the child graduates from the high school or reaches age 19, whichever is first.

Though, if both spouse have a written agreement (on paper) to contribute to college expenses of a child, the court of law will insist on the stipulations of that agreement that made.

Additionally, if the child support order was originally established in another state, the laws/rules of that particular state, rather than Maryland, will control or be in charge once child support ends and the amount to which college contributions are required.

The most excellent method to deal with this during your break-up is to bargain a written (on paper) college support agreement in accumulation to any other child support agreements.

Below are what is included in the college support agreement:

  • Exactly what expenses will be covered
  • What percentage/proportion of college expenses or cost each parent is responsible for
  • How many semesters of support will be offer or provided
  • Some limits/restrictions on annual payments
  • Whether or not there is an age limit for the child to attend
  • Any limitations on which college the child should attend
  • If there ought to be a minimum GPA

On the other hand, if there are many years remaining prior to the children start college, it may be preferable to negotiate a lump sum payment up front assuming there are adequate possessions accessible to do this. Since you never identify what can occur over a long period of time e.g. your ex-husband can go broke or die.