Planning for College Costs Helps Avoid Legal Battles

In a guest column published on 01/18, Rebecca Palmer discusses supporting educational costs for a child after eighteen or high school graduation.

“Supporting your child, regardless of age, is seen as a parental duty, but under Florida law, there is no legal obligation for a parent to pay for college tuition or support a child after the age of eighteen or high school graduation,” writes Rebecca. “The Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause prohibits the courts from ordering a specific spouse to do so and can leave a family in a difficult situation as their child hits college age.”

Rebecca goes on to say that one common mistake she has seen during her twenty-five plus years in family law is when a parent independently files to modify their child’s support obligation once their child is of college-age. “There could be benefits with a change, mainly if the child goes off to college and will not be living at home, but nothing is guaranteed, and your support obligation could increase with tuition fees, living expenses, and room and board,” writes Rebecca. “The assumption of a change in your favor could have huge financial implications on your lifestyle. That is why seeking council from a family law and child support legal professional is so important.”