Am I Responsible For Financing My Child’s College Education

college student walking to class

Parents in Texas often wonder if they are obligated to financially support their children through college. With the rising cost of college tuition, parents might be concerned about how their child’s higher education will be paid for and how this might impact their financial future. Our child support attorneys at Cofer & Connelly, PLLC share what parents should understand about financial obligations for their child after the child turns eighteen (18).

Termination Of Child Support

Child support in Texas generally ends when a child turns eighteen (18) or graduates from high school, whichever comes later. However, there are some circumstances in which child support may continue beyond that point. For example, if a child is disabled and unable to support themselves, child support may be ordered to continue indefinitely or for some period of time after the child turns eighteen (18) or graduates from high school.

When creating your child support agreement, you and your child’s other parent should discuss how you wish to finance any higher education your child might pursue after graduating high school. Together, you can discuss if you desire to help financially support your child through their college or trade school education.

Parent’s Financial Obligations

In Texas, parents have no legal obligation to pay for their child’s college education. However, many parents choose to do so anyway. According to a survey by Sallie Mae, 58% of parents with college-aged children in 2021 are currently paying or plan to pay for all of their child’s college costs.

There are several ways that parents can help finance their child’s college education. One option is to take out a Parent PLUS Loan, a federal loan that can be used to cover the cost of college. Parents can also help their child apply for scholarships and grants. Additionally, parents can choose to co-sign for a private student loan. This option should be used with caution, as the parent will be responsible for repaying the loan if the child cannot.

We Can Do More

At Cofer & Connelly, PLLC, our family law attorneys understand how confusing it can be when trying to understand your current child support obligations and how they will change in the future. We can help you review your current or proposed child support order and help you prepare for the future, whether that be the termination of your child support order or helping your child take their next steps in life as they go to college, attend trade school, or take a gap year to determine what is next.

Are you a parent with shared custody concerned about how your child’s higher education will be financed? Schedule a consultation with one of our compassionate family law attorneys to learn how we can do more for your family. Call us at (512) 991-0576 to get started.

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