Who pays for educational tuition in a high net-worth divorce?

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2023 | Child Custody |

Divorce proceedings among affluent couples are often complex. This is particularly true with financial matters such as funding children’s education.

Decisions about who pays tuition expenses vary based on circumstances. It can be helpful to review every matter affecting who pays what amount.

Negotiating tuition costs

When wealthy married couples call it quits, they often come to a settlement. It is common for the cost of education to be part of these bargaining sessions. Hashing out a compromise can happen directly between parents or with the help of mediators.

Child support and educational expenses

Child support typically only covers basic costs such as housing, feeding and clothing. That said, couples can work into their divorce agreement that child support payments will also cover school tuition.

Custody arrangements

Which parent receives custody can significantly impact tuition payment responsibilities. A mother or father who gets primary custody may bear a more significant proportion of the tuition burden. In joint custody arrangements, it is more likely that parents will split tuition costs.

Establish a college fund

Many parents proactively plan for their children’s education by creating Qualified Tuition Programs or 529 savings plans. The Education Data Initiative reports that Americans own 16.14 million of these accounts. Their popularity makes it evident that people find them worthwhile. When both parents agree on creating one, each should contribute.

Court decisions

When couples cannot agree on paying for tuition, a legal ruling may be necessary to settle the dispute. Judges consider various factors, including the financial capacities of both parties and academic needs.

The question of who pays for tuition in a divorce is not always straightforward, but it remains a pertinent concern. Regardless of relationship status, everyone can agree on the importance of children receiving a quality education.