Belt Law Blog

Divorce and Its Impact on Paying for College

15August
2012

Most parents hope their children will attend college and earn a degree.  In fact, many parents either pay for or help pay for their children’s college education.  With the cost of college rising these days, it is becoming more difficult for parents to pay for this education.  According to U.S. News and World, the average tuition for a private university is more than $35,000 per year, while the average cost of a public university is approximately $20,000 per year.  With these astronomical costs, it is easy to understand why parents are having a hard time financing their children’s education.  Unfortunately, the impact of a divorce makes it even more difficult to help children through college.

A study published by professors at Rice University and the University of Wisconsin found that those children whose parents divorced received less financial help with college than those children whose parents did not divorce.  Parents who stay married usually cover about 77 percent of their child’s tuition, which is approximately 8 percent of their incomes.  Those parents that are divorced, cover only about 42 percent of their child’s tuition, which is approximately six percent of their incomes.

Though it is extreme, a child may sue his parent for failure to pay for his education.  One young woman had a signed contract with her father in which he agreed to pay for her education until she was 25 years-old as long as she diligently attended her classes.  Unfortunately, after her father and mother divorced in her senior year, he stopped paying for her college education even though she was still diligently attending her classes.  The daughter filed suit against her father, and the judge sided with the daughter, awarding her $47,000 plus attorney fees.  If facing a divorce, it is best to address the issue of financing your children’s education during the divorce process.  By doing this, a parent can avoid a situation like the one above.

If you find yourself facing the prospect of a divorce, an experienced divorce attorney will answer any questions you may have and work diligently to pursue the best possible outcome on your behalf.

Posted in Divorce |
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