Who Pays for a Child's College Expenses?


College expenses are a source of conflict in many families, regardless of whether or not they've gone through the experience of divorcing in Pasadena. While some families think it is a parent's duty to pay for a child's education, others believe it is the child's responsibility to find a way to cover tuition expenses.

Several states have laws that can obligate a divorced parent who pays child support to help cover college expenses. California, however, does not presently have a law regarding the payment of college expenses by a divorced parent. Instead of a law that applies the same standard to all cases, parents are allowed to add language regarding responsibility for college expenses into their divorce settlement negotiations as long as the agreement is not considered excessive in terms of the costs paid by one parent.

If you would like to add an agreement to your divorce settlement regarding college expenses, remember that courts will look at the following factors when determining if it is enforceable:

  • The financial resources of each parent
  • The academic ability of the child, the child's commitment to the program, and if the program is sufficient preparation for long-term career goals
  • The availability of scholarships and grants
  • The ability of the child to earn money to contribute to his or her education expenses

If you do not have provisions regarding responsibility for college expenses in your original settlement, you can request a child support modification through the court. Using the services of a family mediator may also be useful in this circumstance.

How Can We Help?

If you are concerned about responsibility for your child's college costs or if you know of someone who can use our help, please contact our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. We are one of the leading family law firms in Pasadena and have extensive experience relating to child support and child custody issues.