14th Jul 2014

One question that clients have when they are contemplating a divorce or dissolution is: How are we going to pay for college? Many couples are living on a tight budget running one household, the thought of trying to save for college while running two households is even tougher.

How to answer this question depends on what legal process a client chooses.

In the case of a contested divorce in almost all cases the court will not require a parent to pay for college. Under Ohio Revised Code 3119.86 child support terminates upon the child’s eighteenth birthday unless:

(a) The child is mentally or physically disabled and is incapable of supporting or maintaining himself or herself.
(b) The child’s parents have agreed to continue support beyond the child’s eighteenth birthday pursuant to a separation agreement that was incorporated into a decree of divorce or dissolution.
(c) The child continuously attends a recognized and accredited high school on a full-time basis on and after the child’s eighteenth birthday, but in no event beyond the age of nineteen.
In a divorce if the parties have begun to save for college, the court’s will generally set that asset aside for the benefit of the child, naming one party as the custodian of the account.

If a client chooses a non-litigated termination of marriage such as a dissolution or a collaborative divorce, there are more options available. In the case of a dissolution or collaborative divorce, the client is the ultimate decision maker on any issue, and they are free to choose to provide for the payment of college under any terms that they can agree upon.

In a situation where a client chooses to include provisions for college, our office makes sure that the client understands that once a decree of divorce or decree of dissolution is entered, the parties agreement for the payment of college becomes a court order that is enforceable by the court.

Our office generally advises clients to review carefully any requirement that they be responsible for college tuition. Parents who are considering this issue should consider the following:

1) How much are you obligated to pay?
2) How long do you have to pay?
3) Tuition only, or room and board?
4) What types of schools – Harvard or technical school?
5) What major?
6) Does the child have to maintain a certain grade point average.

For more information on the issues of college tuition as it applies to divorce, dissolution or collaborative divorce please contact Andy Ice, divorce attorney in Cincinnati, Hamilton, Clermont and Warren County via www.AndrewIceLaw.com or 513.651.4227. With the experience and expertise at hand, you will be guided to your best interest.

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