view our Practice areas

Child support and college education in Connecticut

Parents who divorce usually work out how they plan to provide for their child during the divorce or custody negotiation. However, the specifics are not always as clear when it comes to college education. This is especially true for parents who split while the child is still quite young and his or her potential college education is still many years away.

If parents do not have a working agreement for how to pay for a child's higher education, then they may face serious conflict when it comes time for that child to move beyond high school and enter college. In Connecticut, state laws indicate that parents must share college expenses for a child who enrolls and gains acceptance to an accredited educational establishment, usually until the child graduates.

If you have concerns about your own educational support obligations, or if you believe that your child's other parent should help support your child in his or her higher education, it is wise to carefully examine your circumstances in light of the law. With careful planning, you can make sure that your child's needs get met while protecting your own rights and privileges.

What does the law have to say?

These requirements are state specific, so the advice of your cousin who is a lawyer in Miami may not prove as useful or legally airtight as you might hope. Here in Connecticut, parents and fathers who receive paternity orders are legally obligated to support the child's educational costs until the age of 23.

It is worth noting that this law only applies to parents who entered into the first relevant child support agreement for a given child after October 2, 2002. While this includes many children, a child who is only entering college now, or in the fall of 2018, may not qualify under this law.

If a child chooses to attend a non-accredited college or vocational program that cannot provide proper documentation of its validity, the parent might not be responsible for bearing the burden of educational support.

What factors may mitigate a parent's obligation?

Like other forms of child support, courts do not prefer to order support at levels that parents simply cannot provide. If you face a potential support order that you cannot afford, be sure to make this clear to the court, and request a modification before the order finalizes.

Circumstances that may justify a modification may include

  • Significant loss of income
  • High-cost medical needs
  • Loss of employment
  • Extreme financial complications

However you choose to address your support issue, do it sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the fewer options you have, and the more difficult it is to protect your rights while providing the best life you can for the child that you love.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

We Listen, We Help, We Care

  • Hi Yuliana and Attorney Prince, Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to meet with me. I really appreciated how compassionate you were while listening to my situation, even through my tears. Thank you so much for sharing such valuable information with me. I left feeling very hopeful that when the dust settles, I’ll be ok.
  • Wendy helped guide us through a very difficult and emotional process and was really able to provide an even and fair account for both parties. It's quite evident in her expertise in this area but the way she was able to make you feel safe and secure in a very insecure time goes far beyond her legal prowess. If the two parties are really willing to cooperate and collaborate, she's there to help gain the best possible solution for all involved, especially if there are children.
  • Regardless of how committed one is to the fact that divorce may be imminent and necessary, it is truly one of the most emotional and stressful situations one can experience. It can also be daunting. Wendy has a remarkable ability to cut through the noise and help you focus on the big picture while drilling down on what is most pertinent to your particular situation., they are a formidable team who work collectively with your best interests in mind.
Email Us For a Response

Let Us Help You Move Forward

Call The Prince Law Group, LLC, in Stamford, Connecticut, at 203-977-3700 or contact us online to schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our lawyers. We will accommodate your schedule with an evening appointment. Spanish translator services available.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Prince Law Group BBB Business Review
Review Us

1 Atlantic Street
6th Floor
Stamford, CT 06901

Phone: 203-653-8483
Stamford Law Office Map

The Prince Law Group

Valet Parking at the Marriott Courtyard

Flexible Hours – Evening Hours Available by Appointment

Walking Distance to the Stamford Train Station