Your child’s high school graduation can be an exciting time, but if your child has turned 18 it can also be a time marked by a great deal of uncertainty. What if your ex does not support your child’s choice of college or their choice of major? Can they refuse to help your child pay for their education? Will you and your child have to pay for their tuition alone, or will child support help your child get the advanced degree they need to succeed?
Connecticut law permits support for adult children.
While most support obligations end when your child turns 18, Connecticut law allows you to request that a judge extend support to help fund college, trade school or other post-secondary education expenses. This support will fund your child’s education for up to four years after high school, and can last until your child is 23.
The amount of support is based on a variety of factors, including:
- Each parent’s income, assets and your parental responsibilities for other children
- Your child’s ability to pay for college on their own
- Financial aid available to your child
- Your child’s past academic record and preparation for higher education.
If granted, this support can help cover your child’s tuition, housing expenses, the cost of their books, the cost of health insurance while they are pursuing a degree, and other educational expenses.
Even if your child is young now, it is important to make your request in the initial separation or divorce agreement. While you can revisit this request later, you cannot seek funding for college expenses after your divorce has been finalized.
Supporting your child’s education beyond court orders.
One additional way to protect your child’s ability to attend college is for you and your ex to establish a trust to fund their education. A trust can be formed even if your child’s education was not provided for as a part of your divorce agreement, and could be an important way to ensure that your child can attend college, no matter what the future of your career holds.