Will child support continue into college for ambitious students?

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2023 | Child Support |

Parents often feel intensely proud when there are obvious signs that their middle school or high school students are likely college-bound. They may start setting money aside to help cover future tuition expenses. From professional ambitions that may include becoming a doctor to accountancy, many careers require an advanced degree. There are also thousands of young adults who don’t know exactly what they want to do yet, but their academic performance makes it clear that they would thrive in a college setting.

One of the many concerns that parents voice when preparing for divorce is the possibility that the end of their marriage could damage their child’s chances of achieving their dreams. Can child support potentially help Colorado parents cover the cost for their young adults when they head off to college?

Child support will end before college

Unfortunately, Colorado does not impose any financial obligation on parents whose children are now legal adults or who have graduated from high school. In some cases where students have an academic delay, child support may continue until they turn 21, provided they have not yet finished high school and remain enrolled.

However, child support is not available through someone’s 21st year if they attend college instead. Typically, child support will end when a young adult finishes high school. The courts won’t order parents to cover college tuition via child support.

Still, parents can negotiate agreements that allow them to finance their children’s college education. After all, the income of both parents will usually limit the child’s eligibility for financial aid. Agreements between parents could include a breakdown of how the household will cover college costs and what other support they will provide their young adults after graduation from high school.

Both parents may agree to pay a set amount annually or a certain percentage of the total educational costs a young adult incurs. Although the courts would not set such terms or order involuntary child support during college, they can approve settlements that include terms for support during the college years.

Learning more about how child support functions in Colorado by speaking with an experienced legal professional can help families that are preparing for divorce or separation and are hoping to minimize the negative impacts that this change will likely have on their children.