college student on campus with backpack

Senior year of high school in the United States is an exciting and nerve-racking time for many students. They are likely battling senioritis while simultaneously trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives and what college they want to attend. Higher education in the U.S. is notoriously expensive. Many financially able parents will contribute to their child’s tuition and help out with certain costs, but most students take out loans or find a job to make extra money during the school year. Some states can legally require a divorced parent to pay for their child’s college education. Continue reading to find out if Pennsylvania is one of those states and speak with a skilled York County, PA child support attorney to discuss your situation and acquire legal representation.

What Expenses Does Child Support Cover?

Child support can cover a multitude of costs. It is designed for a noncustodial parent to financially contribute to the raising of their child. It is expensive to have children and if the entirety of the costs were to fall on the custodial parent it would create an unfair dynamic. The parent with whom the child lives most of the time typically receives monthly payments to help cover the costs of the following and more.

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Education costs
  • Health insurance
  • Medical expenses
  • Rent or housing expenses
  • Transportation

Both parents have a legal obligation to financially support their child. Growing up in an environment that offers a safe home and plenty of food and other necessities is essential for the healthy growth and development of a child.

Will I Have to Pay for My Child’s College Tuition?

Many states across the country have laws that allow courts to force one or both divorced parents to fund their child’s college education. They may not have to pay the full amount, but there are certain terms and conditions that they must abide by. A court will take into account the child’s academic history and ability, the university they are attending, the cost of tuition and other expenses, the financial ability of both parents, and more. The following states have laws that can require parents to contribute to payments for higher education.

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Maryland
  • Massachusets
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • West Virginia
  • Washington

Pennsylvania is missing from this list. There are no laws in PA that require divorced parents, whether custodial or noncustodial, to financially contribute to their child’s college education.

Parents may choose to create a college tuition provision in their divorce agreement to detail their intentions for higher education payments. The provision can be a legal document included during the divorce that details what percentage of tuition each parent will pay as well as if and how other expenses will be covered including room and board, textbooks, and more.