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Who Pays for Our Child’s College Expenses After a Divorce?

In some states, a court may order parents may be responsible for all or a portion of their children’s college expenses, even after their obligation to pay child support has ended and their children are over the age of 18. In states in which it is possible to order college expenses, however, the court typically assigns only a portion of the applicable college expenses to each parent, and the child will be responsible for a portion of his or her own expenses, as well. Additionally, the court may re-condition a parent’s duty to pay college expenses on the child maintaining a certain grade point average, limit the expenses to a four-year college curriculum, or cap the expenses at the costs of a public or state-run school. In other words, the court is not likely to force a parent to foot the entire cost of a child’s private college tuition for five or six years, no matter how long it takes the child to graduate.

In the state of Georgia, however, a court cannot force parents to pay any college expenses for the benefit of their children. This is in line with the reasoning that parents in an intact marriage are not required to pay for college for their children, either. However, the parties may enter into an agreement for the payment of their children’s college expenses when negotiating their divorce settlement. In this situation, the parent is typically bound to follow whatever agreement he or she entered into with respect to a child’s college expenses.

Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.

Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.