Who Will Pay for College?

Every parent wants their children to have the opportunity to go to college and prepare themselves for a career. In the midst of a divorce case, however, making your children’s college plans can be problematic. A child support order under ARS §25-320, is limited to age 18 or graduation from high school, whichever occurs later. The Court will not expressly order either parent to pay for college or specifically get involved in the issue. Although the Court doesn’t have the power to deal with the issue of college education, parents can and often reach an agreement on paying for college. Parents can agree to contribute to their children’s college expenses in proportion to their respective incomes or negotiate a different financial arrangement. In addition, parents often include language in their agreement that the contribution is contingent upon the child attending a certain type of school (i.e., public or private), attending school full-time and maintaining a specific grade level. Although the Court will not order parents to pay for college education, the agreements reached by parents are enforced by the Court. While a parent is not required to agree to pay for college, a college agreement is worth pursuing in negotiations with your spouse, if another college payment plan is not already in place (see 529 plan discussion below). To a much lesser extent, the issue of paying for college...

Read More