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Making The Complex Understandable

Child support does not automatically include college costs

For many Louisiana spouses, planning for the future is hard while in the middle of a divorce. Unfortunately, the decisions made during this challenging time will shape the financial lives of both parties for many years to come. One thing to consider is the fact that child support does not automatically cover the cost of a college education. Unless financial obligations for tuition and expenses are laid out in the divorce agreement, those costs could fall squarely on the shoulders of one parent.

During divorce negotiations, parents should discuss the expectations that each party has in regard to financing the education of shared children. If both parties agree to assist in funding those expenses, they should be sure to outline the terms in writing. The agreement can be as simple or as complex as needed, and it can be structured to meet the unique needs of each family. 

For example, parents can agree to each cover a certain percentage of tuition and expenses. They might agree to a dollar amount, leaving any excess to be taken care of through student loans or student employment. It is even possible to agree to pay a portion of education expenses only if the child earns a certain GPA. 

Understanding the role that child support plays in the divorce process is important, but Louisiana spouses should also know that child support will not extend into the college years. Planning for the future is a great way to give both parents a degree of stability. It also allows shared children the chance to plan their own path. 

Source: investopedia.com, "How to Achieve Financial Goals During a Divorce", Rose Swanger, Nov. 22, 2017

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