College education anywhere in the country is a right for all American students. However, access to quality education can get shockingly costly, and many graduates end up in huge debts that they’d have to pay for decades. To avoid these, many parents of college students choose to assist their children financially. But what if the child’s parents got divorced?
For parents who divorced, this situation gets even more difficult. For one, newly-divorced parents would instead think about the custody of the child more than their child’s future. For another, it will become more challenging for both parents to work together in planning their child’s college education after divorce.
Divorced parents can work these circumstances through civil agreements. However, this is not always the case. Often, divorced parents argue over who is going to pay, and how they will provide financial assistance. In some extreme cases, these arguments can even wind up in court.
Guide on Providing Child Support for Education in Michigan
US laws on child custody and other negotiations vary from state to state. It is essential to know your state laws on this matter so you would get your good half of the stick.
In Michigan, to help you win your case on who gets to pay financial assistance on your child’s education, here are a few things you need to consider:
- Make it clear in your divorce statement.
The best way to avoid confusion and adverse consequences down the line is to try to make everything clear as early as you file your divorce papers. In the divorce statement, you will clearly distribute who gets certain properties and other assets. Also, make it clear who gets the custody of the child, and if the other party needs child support.
As for child’s future education, the following should also be made clear:
- Who will be responsible for paying for the child’s future education?
- Will this responsibility be split between the two?
- When and for how long will the responsible parties have to pay?
- Prepare for the worst-case scenario.
Understandably, financially-responsible parents would have misgivings on providing child support. It’s not that they hate their child; they worry about how their ex-spouses use money. After all, the other parent could spend it on anything else instead of their child.
To avoid untoward and irresponsible use of financial aides, many divorced parents opt to open a trust account instead. Having your child’s financial assistance in a trust account is a great way to secure their future education when worse comes to worst.
- Come up with an agreement.
Many divorced parents don’t want to make things complicated. They just let bygones be bygones and have a civil agreement on certain matters, such as properties and children. But in cases where the divorce gets ugly, civil agreements become impossible, and court hearings become inevitable.
The Legal Stance on Financial Responsibilities of Divorced Parents
In Michigan, the law allows the court to direct non-custodial parents to contribute to their child’s higher education. The court can even allow one parent to shoulder most, if not all, of the college expenses. In general, they base their decision on the following factors:
- The parent’s educational attainment
- The parent’s capability to pay
- The parent’s continued commitment to their child
- The parent’s value on the child’s higher education
- The relationship of the child with the paying parent
- The college fees that the parent will have to pay
What You Can Do if You Cannot Afford Your Child’s Education
Parents – divorced or not – naturally want the best for their child, and quality education is just one of them. However, higher education in the US is just so expensive. If you don’t have sufficient finances but have financial responsibility, there are still a lot you can do. Here are some of them:
- Get scholarship grants.
- Enroll your child in a local and cheaper community college.
- Loan for your child’s education.
- Seek legal advice.
Get Financial Advice from the Best Divorce Lawyers in Michigan!
Despite the divorce, children deserve the best. If you cannot financially support your child’s higher education on your own, you will need legal advice to help prove your incapability. Hire trusted Michigan divorce attorneys at The Clark Law Office. We know the divorce law in Michigan with our decades of experience. Contact us today for a free consultation.