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Who pays for education costs after divorce?

| May 6, 2021 | Divorce |

As Texas parents who divorce begin to negotiate how to emotionally and financially support their children, they might wonder how to proceed with the children’s education. As with many other aspects of child-rearing, parents will not always see eye to eye about how and where children should be educated and who will pay for the related costs.

The costs of education

Whether families choose to seek a public or private education, there are costs involved. Private school tuition for K-12 can costs as much as a college education. A public school education, though more affordable, also includes expenses such as supplies, field trips, fundraising events and teacher gifts. Once the children grow and go to college, those costs can continue to mount up.

Who pays for the children’s education?

Paying for children’s educational needs is connected to the best interests of the children. During the divorce negotiations, parents should work towards clearly establishing how the costs associated with education will be met in the near and far futures. Establishing clear terms from the beginning can save a lot of stress and tension later. Some of the things parents should discuss include:

  • The cost of school and related activities and what each parent will be responsible for
  • The limits of what they will be required to pay once their child go to college
  • Provisions on whether the financial support for college will depend on parents’ consent of the child’s choices of college
  • Other methods of financial support, such as 529 savings plans

Education is a central part of a child’s upbringing. Both parents must contribute to pay for the costs associated with their children’s education so it is recommended that they work together to reach an agreement on how they will handle educational decisions and split the expenses.