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Can you ask for child support to help pay for your kid’s college?

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2020 | Divorce - Property And Asset Division |

As the parent with more parental responsibilities and parenting time for your children after an Indiana divorce, you receive child support from your ex. Although child support may only cover a fraction of the cost associated with raising teenagers, the financial contributions of child support have probably made it easier to balance your budget.

For parents with goal-oriented and academically inclined children, the teen years may end with those children enrolled in college. Unfortunately, child support in Indiana will usually end by the time a child turns 19. Is it possible for you to have child support last longer in order to help cover college costs?

You may also be able to make a direct arrangement with your ex

Even if you and your ex are not on great terms and they resent paying child support, the chances are good that they understand how important college will be for your child’s future success. They may agree to help contribute to a savings account or to help pay directly for a portion of the college expenses.

If you miss the window of opportunity for a child support modification or if college is still years away, you may be able to talk with your ex or communicate through your attorneys. Creating a contract that splits up college costs between the two of you, possibly with a share allocated to your child, can be a way for you to plan for the payment for college, which will represent a significant investment for your entire family.

Indiana does allow college child support modifications

Some states won’t allow a parent to seek child support in order to cover college costs. Thankfully, Indiana is not one of those states. Families with an existing child support order and a college-bound teenager can request a modification of the current child support order, or an educational support order.

The courts will likely review a modification request that will extend the support for as long as the child remains enrolled full-time in college. However, it’s important that the parent seeking the educational support understands that they must file a request before the child turns 19 or possibly lose out on their right to formal order for parental contribution to the educational expenses of the child.