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Child support and educational expenses: Plan ahead

| Jul 14, 2021 | Family Law |

When you are a parent who is going through a divorce, your children’s future can weigh heavily on your mind — and that means negotiating for enough child support to cover their needs.

One of those needs involves your child’s future educational expenses. While child support is designed, in part, to help cover some of those costs, you need to consider a few important issues as you craft your agreement with your co-parent.

What to consider when it comes to your child’s education and financial support

When negotiating for child support, it’s a mistake not to consider the periodic expenses associated with education that every parent faces. If you specifically address the following issues, you won’t be caught off guard (or short of funds) later:

  • School clothes: Kids grow very fast, and you may find yourself replacing school clothes or uniforms every six months or so. Who will pay for these? Will the cost be divided equally or in some other way?
  • Extracurricular activities: Band camps, football gear, choir uniforms and more can really add up to a lot of money. Your child may miss out unless your co-parent agrees to shoulder some of the costs.
  • Travel and special trips: School field trips and band or choir outings, as well as participation in sports, can also be difficult to afford without extra financial contributions from your co-parent.
  • School supplies: If your child is young, you may have no trouble covering the paper, pencils and folders needed for school — but older children may need laptops, e-readers and other high-ticket items to facilitate their education.
  • College expenses: In Texas, parents can’t usually be obligated to pay for the educational expenses of their child once the child turns 18 years of age — but you and your co-parent are free to negotiate a private agreement that can be worked into your child support.

Addressing these issues now, before they become critical, can help you obtain the child support you really should have to fully meet your child’s needs both now and in the future.