Who Pays for College?

college kids child supportWhen two people divorce, it is not just two people ending their marriage, especially if children are involved. Changing a family dynamic is tricky and emotionally trying; it’s just complicated. Bottom line. Many decisions have to be made when one of the providing members of the family is moving out of the home, and thereby shifting financial responsibilities. Questions like: how are the bills going to get paid, who is going to do the holiday shopping, and of course, one of the hardest and most stressful —who is going to pay for college—have to be answered, in order to avoid a painful or complicated situation for the child/family later on.

The law takes certain things into account when it comes time to make legal decisions about the families’ finances and about which responsibilities will be assigned to which parents. Who pays for college, or how much each parent will be expected to contribute to the child’s education, is decided by a number of factors, including: what each parent is actually capable of contributing financially, if the child will be working during college and contributing to their own expenses, whether financial aid will be an option, and whether a college education is something that is even feasible for the child, or something they are interested in.

Having a fractured relationship with your children is not usually considered by a judge when financial decisions are being made. Making sure a child is cared for should not depend on how you, the parent, is feeling about the situation. The child, their needs, and their goals are what matter most.