Protecting Your Family's Future

Can Child Support Cover College Education?

As the cost of a college education continues to rise, the question of who pays for college can become an issue during a divorce.

Is it possible in Texas to order child support that will cover the cost of a college education? Some states do extend obligations through the age of 22, but Texas is not one of them. Texas courts will order child support to continue only until the child in question turns 18 and graduates from high school. However, most parents want the best for their children, and that may include you and your spouse coming to an agreement relating to the payment of college tuition, room and board that is college related, and textbooks and other supplies.

You can include this type of an agreement in your divorce decree, and it can be very beneficial for your children to have such an agreement in place. If things change significantly by the time your son or daughter is college age, you can seek a modification of this part of your divorce decree.

Verbal Agreements and College Tuition

If an ex-spouse has said during the marriage that he or she will share college costs for your children, they won’t be held accountable to actually pay them after a divorce. This type of oral agreement made during a marriage is not binding, as it is based on the assumption at the time that the two parents would be living together with the children under one roof. The situation for the two parents has significantly changed, however, since they divorced.

Just writing in the divorce agreement that you and your spouse will share the cost of college isn’t enough either. The agreement needs to be spelled out as clearly as possible despite the fact that the college expenses will occur sometime in the future. Factors to consider when working through a college support agreement during a divorce include, in addition to the tuition and room and board:

  • Anticipated future costs to the extent they can be discerned
  • Names of potential colleges and college locations
  • Types of expenses that would be included, such as for extracurricular activities and travel to visit parents
  • Academic standards the child must maintain
  • Reasons for release from the contract

Questions about Child Support, College and Divorce? Family Law Attorney, Baytown, Texas

Stewart Law, PLLC, located in Baytown, Texas, provides legal counsel to men and women involved in support and custody matters, divorce and other family law cases. If you have questions about developing a college support agreement, a divorce or any other family law matter, we can give you advice that will help you decide how to proceed. For an initial assessment and consultation at a reduced fee of $50, contact our family law firm online or call our office at (281) 420-8020.

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Stewart Law PLLC