Many children will experience emotional stress when their parents divorce. For those who have previously had a stable, happy childhood, the divorce of their parents may be the first and most severe trauma in their lives thus far.
Divorce can affect children’s health and their social relationships. It can also impact their academic performance. Children from divorced families may go through a bout of depression or anger during which they do not perform as they should in school.
Despite those temporary academic hiccups related to their emotional response to the divorce, your children may still have college ambitions. Will child support potentially help you pay for tuition and other college costs for your children?
Alabama cannot order child support during college
For years, there was an assumption by the Alabama family courts that a parent paying child support would likely contribute toward college costs as well. However, the state Supreme Court eventually reversed that precedent, clarifying that courts typically cannot compel a parent to pay for a child’s college through child support payments.
Although that may seem like a hardship for you and your child, as the income of both parents may influence their financial aid eligibility, you can potentially make arrangements that will help protect your child’s future.
Parents can create their own agreement
It is quite common for those with children to settle many of their major divorce matters outside of court. You and your spouse can negotiate a settlement agreement and parenting plan that may contain ongoing support through the college years.
Although the courts will not usually order someone to pay child support for college costs, they can enforce agreements between parents that include college tuition contributions. Especially when you know that your child’s education will be crucial to their success in the future, agreeing to share those costs may be one of the few things that could inspire cooperation between you and your ex during the divorce process.
Learning more about how Alabama handles child support issues can help you plan for your family’s future.