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Who Pays for College Expenses When Parents Divorce?

The older the children in a divorce, the more pressing this issue becomes.  The fact is that Michigan law does not require parents to pay for any living or college expenses after the child turns 18.  The reality, of course, can be quite different since children don’t typically head out on their own at 18 never to be heard from again. 

Divorced parents can face college expenses, other school expenses, living expenses, cars and all sorts of costs associated with young adults.  These expenses really have no place in divorce judgment and should not be included.  If the divorce judgment is silent as to these issues, then the parents are on their own to work out these issues amongst themselves. 

The trap here can be that people obligate themselves in a divorce judgment to pay college expenses or other expenses for an adult child, sometimes years before the child is yet an adult.  For example, you could get divorced when your child is ten years old, and at that time agree to pay for college expenses or some portion of them, not knowing what your own financial future may hold, and not knowing the future finances of your ex-wife.  

Our advice is to keep this out of the judgment of divorce, and look at this issue down the road when you know where you stand financially.  It’s always better to be the Dad who helped pay for college, as opposed to the deadbeat who is court-ordered to do so.

About ADAM (American Divorce Association for Men)

The American Divorce Association for Men (ADAM) is a group of highly qualified attorneys who advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child custody and parenting time, paternity, support, property settlement, post judgment modifications, and other family law matters. Since 1988, ADAM has been aggressive, diligent, and uncompromising in fighting for the rights of every client. To request a free phone consultation, visit www.adamdivorcelaw.com or call (248) 327-0050.

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