Getting a divorce when you have young children with your spouse can create several challenges. In addition to navigating issues like child support, custody and visitation, you also have to consider the long-term costs that will arise as your kids become adults and pursue secondary education.
A lot of parents don’t know what kind of financial responsibility they have, if any, to pay for their children’s college tuition and expenses after a divorce.
Who pays for college expenses?
The issue of payment for college tuition and expenses is complicated, and there are a lot of different factors to consider. One of the most important things to consider is the fact that, in Florida, child support typically only continues until the child has reached the age of 18, graduated high school or become emancipated. The child must graduate high school before the age of 19 and support ceases once enrolled in college courses. This means that most children will stop receiving child support by the time they are ready to begin their secondary education.
This also means that neither parent is legally obligated to pay for school fees or education expenses as part of a divorce agreement. Still, despite the fact that you might not be required to pay any tuition or school fees under Florida law, it’s important to have an arrangement in place with the other party to ensure that your child is taken care of and to minimize conflict around finances.
Negotiating a voluntary agreement
A voluntary agreement is a decision reached by both parties to determine where the responsibility for educational expenses will lie. This agreement is typically authored by a legal representative like a child support attorney in Miami, FL.
There are several factors that have to be considered when entering an agreement like this.
Scope of expenses: It’s no secret that college is expensive, but the cost of sending a child to college goes far beyond tuition and books. You have to factor in things like housing, transportation, food and bills when you’re determining how much it will cost for your child to attend college. When you’re developing your voluntary payment agreement, you need to establish the scope of expenses that need to be covered by each party.
Contribution caps: The cost of attending college can vary widely based on the type of institution, the degree program and the student’s housing arrangement. You need to set a cap for expenses so that both parties can anticipate the amount that they might be responsible for paying.
Division of payments: After establishing some information about the amount of the contribution, both parties need to agree to some kind of division of payments. Contributions can be divided based on percentages.
Request help from a child support attorney in Miami, FL
If you have additional questions about divorce, child support, custody and other aspects of family law, you can reach out to the Law Offices of Granoff & Kessler.
Since 1997, we have been proud to provide a wide range of family law services to our clients. Our team is equipped with the skills, education and experience necessary to assist you with all of your family law needs. You can get started with a consultation by giving our office a call today.