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Can you expect child support to help with college in Colorado?

When you're a parent, you want to give your children the best possible start to life. That often means focusing on both physical and mental development. Providing a safe home with proper nutrition helps a child grow strong and healthy. Good schooling, including college and post graduate studies, may be necessary for optimal mental and professional development.

Divorcing means many changes to your future plans. If you have primary custody of your children, you likely count on child support from your ex to help you cover the costs of raising the kids. In an age when new professionals need a lot of education and experience to break into the best fields, you may worry about whether you can expect child support to help defray the costs of college.

Colorado can't order your ex to pay for college

Sadly, unless you have a prenuptial agreement in place that obligates your ex to help pay for college, the courts cannot simply order them to pay for college. Under Colorado law, child support obligations do not continue once the children become adults. The divorce decree cannot obligate your ex to assist in paying for college.

That may leave you in a difficult position, as you may not be able to afford college tuition without support. The good news is that your income, and not the income of the other parent, should be the only one that matters when you fill out the federal student aid application. Lower income may mean that your student qualifies for more financial aid in the form of scholarships, grants, work study programs or subsidized student loans.

Your ex can agree to help with college in the future

If you are still in the process of negotiating the terms of your divorce, you can take steps now to help ensure your child's educational future. Consider asking your ex to contribute toward college, perhaps in lieu of other potential assets or support in the divorce. Your ex may agree to pay support in the form of partial tuition through college if you compromise on other terms in your divorce.

Barring that, you can also try to appeal to your ex to help give your children the best possible future. If you can agree that college or vocational school will be a good idea, it may be possible to address paying for tuition as part of your divorce decree.

If your ex won't co-operate, you can't compel them to help cover the expense of college. You may need to explore other options for giving your children the best education and start to their future or commit to financing higher education on your own.

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