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Divorce and your child's college tuition

Forming a divorce agreement has mostly to do with what you and your spouse want, but there are also some requirements the court may order if it does not feel that personal agreement does not go far enough. Education is one of those areas.

Generally speaking, Connecticut courts will order child support for your kids until they complete 12th grade or until their 19th birthdays. There are also some other provisions in this law that concern disabled or married children.

However, the pre-college years usually do not represent the largest education costs for kids these days. It is the post-secondary college education that many couples, especially those with younger children, tend to disagree on during divorce.

The judge would consider the financial aspects of your case along with the need for assistance. Then, the court would order college educational support. There is also the issue that the support would only continue if your child met various requirements:

  • Enrolling in a post-secondary institution
  • Keeping good grades
  • Maintaining at least half of a full course load
  • Supplying academic records to both parents

These requirements would make educational child support a team effort between you, your ex and your child. With this in mind, it is probably advisable to approach the matter in a collaborative way from the very beginning — if you can find any common ground at all. This could allow you to make an agreement that would work better for your family than the standard court order would.

Connecticut courts do not have the right to order a college education for your child. If the court fails to find reasonable evidence that you would have provided funds for college education, then it is unlikely that either you or your spouse would have to pay. However, it is probably a good idea to have a personal assessment of your case to make sure your child's future continues in a way that best benefits your family.

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Law Office of Robert A. Skovgaard
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