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Who Is Responsible for College Expenses After Divorce?

College can be an exciting and rewarding time for students and a rather expensive endeavor for parents who are left to pay the tuition. For divorced spouses, it can be difficult to understand who’s responsible for paying for college expenses and how this should be decided. At López Law Offices, P.C., we’re experts at helping divorced couples understand their financial obligations. We will ensure that the court properly divides your child’s college expenses in a way that’s fair to both parties. 

What if My Parenting Plan Doesn’t Address College Expenses?

When spouses are in the process of divorcing, they are required to file a parenting plan, which outlines how any children should be raised in regards to religious upbringing, education, and who’s responsible for making any medical decisions. In some cases, a parenting plan may not address who’s responsible for the child’s college expenses. Indiana law states that a student or custodial parent is able to request financial assistance from the non-custodial parent as long as the student has not yet reached the age of 19. This financial assistance does not need to solely be used for tuition but can be utilized for the housing, books, and any additional fees the student has. 

Who’s Responsible for Paying College Expenses?

In most cases, both parents are responsible for paying for college expenses. A parent may be required to pay for their child’s college expenses in divorce matters in Indiana if it’s already established in the divorce order. Otherwise, the custodial parent must request it. This doesn’t mean that the non-custodial parent will be required to pay the entire tuition cost, as the court will determine a fair amount for both parties to pay. This may be based on factors such as the financial means of either parent, tuition costs, and the student’s performance in school. For example, if a student has received scholarships or grants that reduce their tuition cost, the court may alter how much a spouse is required to pay. Our team can help you understand if you’ll need to pay for college expenses and how much this will equate to. In addition, we’re experts at advocating for a fair distribution of payments and will ensure that both parties are paying an appropriate amount. 

How Will a Divorce Impact FAFSA?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also referred to as FAFSA, is an important form that needs to be filed in order for a college to determine how much federal aid a student is eligible for. This determined amount could impact how much a spouse is required to pay for a student’s college expenses. The custodial parent is responsible for filing the FAFSA, but they are required to report any child support that the non-custodial spouse is paying. It’s important to include the right information on the FAFSA in order to ensure that your student’s college is giving them the proper consideration for financial aid. Our team can help answer any questions you may have about Indiana laws and college financial aid considerations during a divorce. 

Contact Us Today

Contact us today if you’d like to speak to our team about college expenses in Indiana. We will advocate for an equal payment plan for parents and address your concerns in court. 

Vanessa López Aguilera

Attorney Vanessa López Aguilera represents clients in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area

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