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What happens to college costs after Alabama spouses divorce?

A number of issues need to be ironed out in a divorce. Most of the issues associated with divorce deal with property division, custody and child support. In some cases, Alabama parents who are obligated to pay child support may be required to continue paying until the child graduates from college.

Many non-custodial parents have the belief that child support payments end as soon as the child reaches the age of 18. In some areas, parents are still required to fund their child’s education until he or she earns their degree. In other cases, divorce settlements outline that parents take on the responsibility of paying for college costs.

An example of this is a case in which parents entered into a divorce settlement that included certain provisions about their daughter. The daughter graduated from Rutgers University and the agreement states each parent is responsible for 50 percent of her college expenses if she decides to go to law school. The daughter ended up enrolling in a costly law school, which the father refused to pay for due to his financial circumstances. In spite of his circumstances, a judge agreed that the provision of the settlement is enforceable.

In most situations, parents will agree to split the costs. However, once a divorce settlement is entered into, it must be followed regardless of either parent’s financial circumstances. Alabama parents may want to consider all of the pros and cons to such an agreement before committing to it. It may be possible to place certain restrictions on the payment such as only paying up to a certain amount in order to avoid a situation similar to the one here.

Source: Huffington Post, Divorce Settlements and Higher Education, Brad Reid, March. 11, 2014