Raising kids is expensive, and it does not get any cheaper when they legally become adults. The year your child turns 18 will likely be the year that they finish high school and start college.
Even if they are a year ahead or behind that standard schedule, the need to pay for college typically overlaps with a child becoming an adult. If you have teenagers with professional ambitions, a divorce could affect their college dreams. Will the Arizona courts order your ex to pay child support through college?
Judges won’t deviate from state law
When an Arizona family law judge makes a decision about child support, they must apply Arizona State statutes. Typically, child support ends when the minor turn 18 or finishes high school, although sometimes it could last longer.
In cases where a child has a debilitating condition that will keep them from living independently, ongoing child support may be an option. However, college students don’t typically fall into this category. A judge won’t order your ex to keep paying support when your child is enrolled in post-secondary education regardless of how expensive it is.
A judge will uphold an agreement set outside of court
While you can’t ask a judge to order child support to last until your kids get out of college, you can negotiate with your ex for that exact term. If the two of you file for an uncontested divorce with your own settlement agreement, either negotiated between your attorneys or developed in mediation, a judge may approve — and later enforce — an agreement that requires your ex to contribute to expenses for as long as your child stays enrolled in college.
If paying for college is a major concern in your upcoming divorce, you need to strategize ahead of time to secure the outcome necessary for your children.