Who Should Pay for a Child’s Education in Divorce?

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As parents, we naturally want what is best for our children, and this includes addressing their college educations – or post-secondary educations. While the State of Ohio does not include college education in its child support requirements, it will address the matter if there is reason to do so, such as if there is a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement that specifies payment arrangements. Your child’s education is important, which means working closely with an experienced Dayton child support attorney is in your best interests. 

Child Support in Ohio

In the State of Ohio, child support is intended to balance the financial responsibility for supporting one’s children between both parents – based primarily on each parent’s financial ability to pay and the amount of time each parent spends with the children. This child support, however, extends only until the child in question reaches the age of 18 – or until he or she graduates from high school (as long as this happens prior to the child turning 19). While some states will take on the issue of a parent’s responsibility to cover or help cover a child’s college costs, Ohio is not one of these states. 

Your Parenting Plan

You and your divorcing spouse can address the matter of your child’s college education directly in your parenting plan. While the court will not address the matter of your child’s college education in your child support order, you can tackle the issue yourselves in your divorce decree – if you are able to reach a mutually agreeable decision between yourselves (that you are both willing to sign off on). Once your agreement is filed with the court, it becomes a legally enforceable court order, which will guide how your child’s college education will be paid for (and by whom). 

The Responsible Parent

If one parent has considerably greater financial means, he or she is the likely candidate to shoulder the responsibility of covering your child’s college costs (or helping to cover them). While this parent may follow through with covering or helping to cover this ever-growing expense (that many of us consider a parental responsibility), even if it is not mandated by law, there is no guarantee that he or she will do so when the time comes. As such, including this in your mutually agreed upon divorce terms can provide you and your child with considerable peace of mind. 

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Another mechanism for addressing the matter of paying for your child’s college education is with one of the following contractual agreements:

  • A prenuptial agreement that goes into effect upon marriage and that addresses the matter
  • A postnuptial agreement that is created and executed during the marriage and that addresses the matter

Experienced Dayton Child Support Attorneys Are Standing by to Help

The compassionate child support attorneys at The VanNoy Firm in Dayton have the experience, dedication, and legal insight to help you skillfully negotiate for favorable terms that address your child’s college education costs. To learn more, please don’t wait to reach out and contact us today. 



About The Author

Anthony S. VanNoy

Trial Attorney

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