“Who will have to pay for our children’s college expenses?” is one of the most frequent questions posed to divorce lawyers in Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, New Canaan and Westport. Given that divorce is often a time of great financial uncertainty and anxiety for divorcing spouses, it is certainly understandable that many of our clients are concerned about whether, and to what extent, each parent will be obligated to contribute to their children’s college expenses.
Most clients are aware, even before they meet with a family law attorney, that a primary custodial parent will be entitled to receive child support payments from a non-custodial parent under Connecticut law. However, while such child payments are meant to cover a broad range of child-related expenses (such as food, shelter, clothing and other basic necessities), child support obligations do not account for college costs. In fact, child support obligations extend only until a child reaches the age of eighteen (or, in situations where a child does not graduate from high school by age eighteen, until the earlier to occur of a child’s graduation from High School or his or her 19th birthday).