When drafting a divorce agreement, it can be difficult to consider every contingency. You want to be sure that there is an answer for every future scenario; however, it is difficult to focus on the future when the present is so stressful. One situation that many people forget to consider or do not put much thought into is covering the cost of college. If you have young children, the concept of college may not be on your mind. However, kicking this can down the road may lead to future issues or further court involvement.
Currently, financial contribution to college is not assumed. If parties do not include the cost of college in their agreement, the Court can determine whether or not a parent is required to make a contribution. In determining how contribution is made, the following factors are considered: the cost, resources available to parents and child, availability of financial aid, and the child’s current living situation. The University of Massachusetts- Amherst tuition is used as a bench mark regarding expenses. Neither parent shall be ordered to pay an amount in excess of fifty percent of the undergraduate in state resident costs of UMass Amherst (including tuition fees and room and board.)
In order to avoid any future litigation, you should ensure that there is a clause in the divorce agreement to cover the cost of college. Typical language states that parties agree to split the costs 50/50 based on their financial ability to do so at the time. It may seem easier to decide on this at a later date; however, just know that when it comes time to consider college, it may be a more complicated matter.