In Connecticut, college expenses are not included in child support orders. With college costs rising every year the responsibility of college tuition is a serious concern.
Determining responsibility at the time of the divorce is the best practice. If parents agree the divorce papers can include their decision. When parents cannot agree the court may step in, either now or later.
1. What is an Educational Support Order?
If parents are not in agreement, the court can assign responsibility to one or both parents through an Educational Support Order. This can require parents to contribute to any post-secondary education, including vocational or technical school, for students aged 18 to 23.
2. How are Educational Support Orders handled?
The court can enter the Educational Support Orders into the record along with the divorce settlement. In other cases, when the children are young, the court can delay the decision by “reserving the court’s jurisdiction.”
If the divorce agreement does not include one of these options, the court cannot revisit the issue of Educational Support Orders ever again.
3. What is the maximum payment allowed?
The “UConn cap” limits the amount the court can order a parent to pay: the order may not exceed the amount charged by the University of Connecticut for full-time, in-state tuition at the time the child enters college, no matter where the child enrolls.
The issue of who will be responsible for college costs should be a serious consideration in any divorce. If you and your spouse cannot come to an agreement the court can help ensure a fair outcome for your child.