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Can a Connecticut child support order include college expenses?

Parents everywhere know that just because children reach the age of maturity, it does not necessarily mean they no longer require financial support. Like other states, the age of maturity in Connecticut is 18 and most people at this age are able to work and become self-sufficient. However, if a mature child attends college, especially on a full-time basis, they may need parental help in paying for these expenses.

In many cases, the two divorcing parents can create a child support agreement outside of the courts that covers higher education. Often, this is the ideal way to address college expenses if both parents are able to agree. In the absence of such an agreement, Connecticut family law courts can also address college expenses.

In Connecticut, child support ends at the age of maturity, which means that neither parent is obligated to cover an adult child's expenses. As of 2002, there can be exceptions to this law based on several factors.

  • Whether it is likely that the child would have attended college had his or her parents remained married
  • Parental assets, income and financial obligations
  • Whether a financial need for continued child support exists
  • The child's existing academic record
  • The possibility of financial aid for college (grants, loans, etc.)
  • The child's commitment to and aptitude for a higher education
  • Evidence or information about the preferred college

For parents in the midst of divorce, it is often difficult to think ahead to their child's higher education. A good way to approach the issue is to speak with a lawyer about the possibility of including college expenses in your child support order.

Source: FindLaw, "College Expenses and Child Support FAQ," accessed Oct. 19, 2017

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