Should Your Divorce Settlement Include College for Your Children?

Should Your Divorce Settlement Include College for Your Children?

Getting a divorce in California can be a difficult time, as it can be hard to close the doors on your history with your ex-spouse or partner. However, it can also be an opportunity to explore new interests and build new healthy relationships. Divorce is also an opportunity to create a new start for your children, and therefore, considering their needs is typically a top priority for divorcing parents.

During a divorce, it’s important to consider what agreements will benefit the children, including physical and legal custody, childcare, and visitation schedules. Divorcing spouses may also want to think in terms of the long haul and decide whether they want to push for agreements on college tuition for their child or children. When deciding on whether to include college tuition in the divorce settlement, it’s vital to consider many varying factors.

California College Tuition and Divorce Settlements

It’s important to note that there is no legal obligation for a spouse who is ordered to pay child support to have to pay college tuition as well. Child support obligations end when the child gets their high school diploma or reaches the age of 19 – whichever happens first. Also, in the case that the child is mentally or physically disabled or incapacitated, then the contributing parent may be required to keep paying child support after the child turns 18.

Mutual Agreements During Divorce

While parents are not legally obligated to pay for college under California law, if two divorcing spouses both sign paperwork stating that one parent will pay college tuition, then they will be legally bound to do so. Therefore, when negotiating a divorce, it’s essential to consider all of the relevant factors, such as college tuition, so that they can be properly advocated for.

Planning College Tuition With Your Ex-Spouse or Partner

When considering the future of your children, you want to make sure that they have opportunities to grow, whether they are toddlers or if university is just around the corner. And with California college tuition reaching record-breaking rates, it can be helpful to plan with your ex-partner or spouse how you will pay for your child’s college. Some of the options for planning include:

  • Make a plan for how the college expenses and tuition will be covered, and have it included in the divorce agreement. A detailed and customized plan will help avoid confusion and dispute when the time comes.
  • Make contributions towards the child or children’s college expenses based on each parent’s income. If one parent makes 30% more in net income than the other, then they should contribute about 30% more than the other parent toward child tuition and expenses.
  • Create a college savings account together. Divorcing spouses can create a college savings account together and give money to it over the years in order to save up. For many college savings accounts, this money can be taken out tax-free if it is used for educational purposes.
  • Work with direct payments. When paying for college expenses, sometimes it is more practical to make payments directly to the educational institution involved or even to the student. This way, there can be a paper trail, and there can be no confusion about where the money is going.

There are numerous solutions and tools to aid you and your ex-spouse in planning for your child’s college tuition. In addition to expenses, there are other important factors to consider as well, such as scholarship and financial aid applications. In addition, it’s vital to consider hiring an experienced Pasadena divorce lawyer, as they can provide invaluable advice to help you plan for your child’s future.


Q: How Do I Calculate My CA Divorce Settlement?

A: The payments that will make up a California divorce settlement vary based on details associated with the divorce, such as how many children are involved in the divorce, how long the spouses were married, and how much money each party makes. However, when it comes to calculating alimony or spousal support, the spouse who will be contributing the payments will pay about 40 percent of their net income minus one-half of the receiving spouse’s income.

Q: How Do I Know If I Qualify For California Alimony?

A: Whether or not a Californian getting a divorce qualifies for alimony or spousal support is dependent on multiple factors. It’s worth noting that the individual receiving alimony must have been making significantly less money than the ex-spouse whom they are receiving money from. Other factors that are considered will be the length of the marriage, the quality of living of both spouses during the marriage, and the mental and physical state of each spouse.

Q: Is It A Requirement For Divorced California Parents To Pay College Tuition?

A: Under California law, there are no legal provisions requiring parents to cover college tuition in their divorce agreements. Payments that can be required for children of divorcing parents are covered by child support, which is only obligated to be paid until the child turns 18 or, if they are in high school, when they reach 19 years of age or finish high school.

Q: What Does CA Child Support Cover?

A: Child support in California is money given to a divorced spouse or partner to help support their child or children. It covers basic living needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing provisions, as well as education and healthcare. All child support money that is received by a parent should go directly towards the children in the family.

Let Us Help Cure Your CA Divorce Settlement Headaches

Sorting out your California divorce settlement can be extremely challenging, especially if there are disputes involved. Whether you are splitting complex marriage assets or advocating for lower or higher spousal or child support payments, it’s crucial to have an experienced California divorce lawyer who can back you up in and out of the courtroom. Contact Khalaf Law Group to learn more about similar cases that we have handled and how we can help you overcome legal challenges associated with your divorce.

About Ted Khalaf

As you maneuver the difficult process of divorce and custody, it is essential that you are supported by a team of legal experts well versed in California specific Divorce and Family Law. For well over a decade, Khalaf Law Group have been serving clients across Southern California in all areas of Divorce and Family Law. With an exceptional track record of courtroom successes, Khalaf Law Group take great pride in providing their valued clients with the knowledge and information they require to maintain peace of mind and a positive outcome in their case.

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