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Can a family expect child support to last through college?

On Behalf of | Mar 14, 2023 | Child Custody |

Financial planning often plays a very important role in Oklahoma divorces. Both spouses have to think about what it will cost to establish their own household and what needs their shared children (if applicable) will have. Those financial needs will influence everything from property division to child support.

Unfortunately, parents frequently disagree about what is necessary or appropriate in a divorce, which means that they need a judge may be called upon to settle differences that cannot be worked through outside of court. The amount of child support and how long it lasts can be a major point of disagreement for parents.

When at least one of the children in the family has plans to attend college or university after high school graduation, parents may have to think about their ability to pay for tuition and other expenses. Can child support help cover college costs?

Child support ends with high school or adulthood

In most cases, Oklahoma child support ends when a young adult turns 18 or graduates from high school. In scenarios where they do not graduate at 18, they may still be eligible for child support until the age of 20, so long as they are still enrolled full-time in high school working toward their diploma.

However, college costs are not typically eligible for child support payments regardless of the student’s age. The courts will not order support to continue until a young adult finishes college, nor will they order one parent to pay a specific percentage of someone’s tuition.

However, parents can agree to cooperate regarding college. Committing such terms to writing is usually the best option. Couples can agree between themselves to continue child support or to directly contribute to college expenses even after someone turns 18 or graduates high school.

Especially when parents agree that college is important for a child’s future success, they may be able to set aside their feelings about one another to cooperate on meeting the child’s needs in the near future. College becomes more expensive every year, which makes arranging ahead of time to cover college costs very important for families.

Learning more about the rules that apply to child support and custody matters can help parents do what is best for their children while handling the end of their romantic relationship.