How Courts Decide Whether College Expenses Should Be Included in Child Support

Including college expenses in child support agreements is a controversial topic for many divorcing couples. Fortunately, the government has a guideline on how the decision should be made. Therefore, if you can't agree with the other parent, you can leave the matter up to the court's decision, and they will make the decision based on several factors such as these four:

Your Financial Resources

The court is likely to decide that college expenses should be included if you have the financial resources to do it. As such, an assessment of your financial resources will be made to determine if this is the case. This assessment will include your incomes, investments, savings, and assets. Prepare to reveal all this information as required; hiding assets or under-reporting income may get you into trouble with the court. If you feel that the court has overestimated your financial strength, you can use your attorney and a financial expert to prove your claims.

Standard of Living During Marriage

The standard of living you had while you were married will also be a factor in this decision. The main interest here is to ensure that the child isn't suffering due to your breakup. This means that if you would have paid the expenses had you not broken up, then you should still pay them after your separation.

The Child's Financial Resources

You may only be required to pay for these college expenses if your child can't afford them. Many college students have income from side businesses, part-time jobs, investments and many other sources. There are even college students who have more money than their parents. Therefore, your child's financial strength will be assessed, and you may only be required to pay the expenses if they can't afford to do it on their own.

The Child's Academic Performance

Lastly, the child's academic performance will also be considered. This is necessary because the college expenses should be used for actual college needs, and not to enable the child to live a luxurious life. Therefore, the child's academic performance will be analyzed to find out if they are really headed for college. This means you won't be expected to pay "college expenses" if your child has flunked their studies.

Expect the other parent to put up a spirited fight to convince the court of their position. Whether you want the payments included or not, having an experienced family lawyer's help will go a long way in convincing the court of your position. For more information, contact a lawyer at firms like Caldwell Kennedy & Porter.