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Who Pays for College After a Divorce?

Who Pays for College After a Divorce?

College is more expensive than ever before. According to U.S.News and World Report, prices can vary widely, but the average tuition for a private college in 2020-21 was $35,087, and that doesn’t include all of the costs that may be associated with attendance or account for how much inflation may drive up prices in the future.

 

At the same time, Texas child support laws say that a parent is obligated to pay child support only until the child graduates from high school or turns 18. So what should parents do about college? Who pays for college after a divorce?

When It Comes to College, Be Proactive

Since Texas courts will not force a parent to continue child support payments just because the child has chosen to pursue post-secondary education, it’s important to think of college years before it’s time to fill out applications.

 

Consider making a written agreement about college expenses now, during the divorce process. If properly drafted, courts in most states will enforce college support agreements.

 

These agreements can give you peace of mind that you’ll be prepared to support your child’s education. They may also save you the time and expense or resolving disputes related to college expenses later.

Things to Consider in a College Support Agreement

There is no exact formula for every family. What works best for your family may depend on many different factors. To start with, you and your spouse should agree on what “college” means. Does it mean four years at an in-state school? Or does it mean continued payment until graduation, even if that takes longer or includes graduate studies?

 

Some families agree to deposit a portion of their incomes into college savings funds starting when the children are very little. Other families focus on how payment responsibilities will be divided.

 

If both parents earn equal incomes, fair payment may be 50/50. But if one parent’s income is greater, a more fair division might be 70/30. Because it can be complicated, it’s best to talk about the matter with your attorney and your financial planner.

Contact the Schneider Law Firm, P.C.

At the Ft. Worth office of the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys can answer your questions about the divorce process, like who pays for college after a divorce. Call 817-755-1852 to talk with us about your situation.

 

 

3 Tips for Handling Divorce Anxiety

There are many reasons why divorce is stressful. For starters, parents face the anxiety that they will lose quality time with their children. Divorce also leads to uncertainty, possible financial implications and social changes.

Researchers have made an inventory of stressors, and divorce ranks right at the top as the second most stressful event a person could experience. So, what is the best way to cope with divorce-related stress and anxiety? Here are some tips for staying calm during an uncertain time.

1. Ask For Help and Accept It

Friends and family can be uncertain about how to help you during the divorce process. They may not know what to say or do. Don’t interpret silence as being alone. Often, your loved ones are waiting for you to tell them what you need.

Ask for help and name the help you need specifically. Do you need someone to talk with over the phone? Or more concrete support, like help with childcare or budgeting? Tell people the best way to support you, and then gratefully accept the support they lend. Having that support is a key way to beat divorce-related anxiety.

2. Take Divorce Matters One Step At a Time

Studies show that there’s no physical difference between anxiety caused by something that’s actually happening and anxiety caused by something we’re only thinking about. To limit anxiety, try to keep your mind on present things. Of course, that’s easier said than done. However, you can try to tackle each obstacle as it comes rather than thinking ahead to various scenarios.

3. Bring in the Pros. Hire an Experienced Attorney.

Nobody expects to go through a divorce. So when you’re divorcing, you’re constantly faced with decisions you’ve never made before and likely haven’t prepared for. Hire an experienced, reputable lawyer, and then trust that person to guide you through the decision-making process.

Having a trusted professional’s phone number can go a long way toward reducing anxiety and bringing you peace of mind.

Contact Us for Help With Your Divorce

If you need help making your divorce more manageable, talking with a lawyer is a good way to get real information. For a confidential consultation, call our Fort Worth office at 817-755-1852 . At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we have extensive experience guiding people through the divorce process, and our experience can help reduce your anxiety