The cost of college is high, and paying tuition often requires the contributions of both parents. However, divorce can make paying for college even more challenging for families. In Indiana, parents may disagree about whether they must pay for college. After the child reaches a certain age, paying for expenses becomes more complicated.
Child support in Indiana usually ends by a child’s 19th birthday, according to IC 31-16-6-6. Parents must provide for the physical necessities of their children until they become legal adults. Sometimes, a child may reach adulthood before finishing high school, so Indiana child support often continues until the child graduates.
Court-ordered assistance often falls short
Regarding college, parental contributions are typically necessary. Most teenagers cannot fund their college education unless they receive substantial scholarship resources. The child support rules in Indiana allow parents to petition the court for college funding assistance. However, ordered support will likely fall below the necessary amount to cover tuition costs. Therefore, creating a private agreement may be better for protecting your children.
Communication about hopes and expectations is critical
Parents should communicate their expectations and abilities to contribute to their child’s college education. Understanding college education costs, including tuition, fees, room, board, books and other expenses, is essential.
While Indiana child support does not automatically cover college tuition costs, custodial parents can still request help from the other parent. However, the ordered support will likely fall short of the necessary amount, making it crucial for parents to communicate and plan accordingly. By working together, parents can ensure their child receives the education they need to succeed.