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Who is Responsible for College Payments in a Michigan Divorce?

by | May 11, 2021 | Uncategorized |

When you are going through a Michigan divorce and you share children with your spouse, the court will need to make a child support determination if your children are still minors or are still finishing high school. When it comes to child support, one or both of the spouses might also be wondering about college expenses for the child and whether these can be included as part of a child support obligation. Some parents in Michigan go into the divorce process assuming that college payments for their child will be included in the final divorce order because they have friends or family members who have come to divorce agreement that included obligations for paying college expenses.

You should know upfront that Michigan, unlike some other states, does not have any specific provisions for including college payments in a divorce case. However, there are some situations in which one or both parents can be responsible for paying for their child’s college expenses as part of the divorce case.

Child Support in Michigan Does Not Include College Payments

If you are going through a Michigan divorce and wondering about whether you or your ex will be required to pay for college, you should know that Michigan law does not include college payments or expenses as child support. Indeed, according to Michigan law, child support can include health care costs, child care costs, educational costs, and pregnancy costs. 

You might see the reference to education cited above and wonder if college expenses are included, but it is essential to know that the law clarifies that the above types of support end when the child reaches the age of 18. The only statutory exception is in situations in which the child turns 18 while in high school and continues in high school as a full-time student. However, even in these situations, child support will end when the child reaches the age of 19 years and six months, even if the child is still in high school.

When Parents Have an Agreement About College Payments

Since a Michigan court will not order one or both parents to pay college expenses for a child as part of the divorce settlement, the only way in which a divorce order will include college payments is if the parents reached a prior agreement about their contributions to the child’s college or university expenses.

To be clear, the court will only require a parent to make college payments after a divorce if the parents have already agreed to this arrangement.

Contact a Michigan Child Support Lawyer

When you have questions about child support in Michigan, you should seek advice from a Michigan child support attorney as soon as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins for more information.