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Can My Ex Be Ordered To Pay College Tuition?


The effects of divorce don’t stop when the divorce agreement is signed. This is especially true if you have shared children with your ex. The average cost of a 4-year college degree in the United States is over $100,000, so this is not an expense that can be easily covered if left unprepared for. If you are counting on your ex-spouse to pay all or some of your children’s college tuition and expenses, you may be panicked to learn that they will no longer be honoring their agreement to pay them. Depending on your circumstances, there may or may not be legal options available to you that would empower you to have a court order your ex spouse to make your children’s tuition payments and college expenses.

Is My Ex Required to Help with College Expenses?

It’s important to understand that legally, your ex-spouse has no obligation to help your shared children pay for college. Under Florida law, parents are only legally required to provide for their children until they are 18 years of age. Because most college students are 18 years of age or older, their parents are no longer required by law to provide for them financially. Although, even if they were, it can be argued that college is not a necessary expense. In any case, you do not have a legal argument in support of compelling your ex to make child support payments unless you have a separate legal agreement with your ex spouse.

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements Requiring Payment of Tuition and College Expenses

Because your spouse does not have a legal requirement to pay your children’s college tuition, even if they have previously said that they would, it is absolutely critical that you get a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement laying out the terms of how each spouse will contribute to covering college expenses for their children and which parent will be responsible for what financially. If you and your spouse entered such an agreement, and your spouse is now failing to meet the terms of the agreement by making child support payments, you have a right to have the court enforce that order. If you are currently engaged or married, this is why it is so important to consider such an agreement. You may feel secure in the fact that your spouse said that they would pay for your children to go to college, however, absent a written and signed agreement, their word means very little. This is because they can later deny saying it in court, and without a signed written agreement, it will be very hard to prove that the agreement existed.

Contact Bubley & Bubley, P.A. to Schedule a Consultation Today

If you want to make sure that your children have the financial resources that they need to get the education that they deserve, the experienced Tampa divorce attorneys at Bubley & Bubley, P.A. can help. Contact Bubley & Bubley, P.A. today to schedule a consultation.

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