Regardless of your marital status, you have a legal obligation to provide financial support to your children. This responsibility lasts until the child becomes a legal adult and is capable of being self-sufficient. For divorced parents, this usually means that a noncustodial parent provides the other with monthly support payments to cover their children’s cost of living.
What this does not account for is the lifestyle of the typical college student. From the age of 18 to around 22 (or perhaps later), many adults still lack the means of completely supporting themselves. While some college students tend to have part-time jobs, many often turn to their parents to help them out financially.
In Florida, there is no legal obligation for parents to pay child support to assist with college or postsecondary education. Child support obligations automatically end when the child turns 18.
Of course, this does not necessarily mean you will not have to pay child support for college education if you live in Florida. If the child and custodial parent live in another state with rules similar to those found in New Jersey, where some parents need to pay child support until their children turn 23, you may be responsible for providing support while your children are still in school.
Your best bet is to establish how you and the children’s other parent will handle supporting your kids as they pursue higher education. If you get this agreement finalized well in advance, you can prevent surprises from occurring and give yourself an opportunity to engage in sound financial planning.
To learn more about your obligations with regard to child support in Florida, meet with a trusted family law attorney at Oberliesen & Henderson. Call our Shalimar office at 850-634-3785 or contact us online today.