Under Connecticut law, courts can compel a parent to pay for up to four years of higher education expenses. These orders, known as educational support orders, can only be entered upon the divorce, or if the court allows the parents to petition the court for educational support at a later date. Educational support orders terminate upon a child's 23rd birthday or when he or she earns a bachelor's degree, whichever occurs first.
When determining whether to award an educational support order, courts must look closely at a number of factors. First, courts must find that the parents would have provided financial educational support to the child if the parents had not divorced. If the court believes that the parents would have financially supported the child's education, the court will then look at a number of factors, including:
- The parent's income and assets
- The child's need for financial support, considering the child's own assets and/or income
- The availability of grants, loans and other financial aids
- The reasonableness of the higher education to be funded considering the child's academic record and the financial resources available
- The child's preparation for, aptitude for and commitment to higher education
- The evidence, if any, of the institution of higher education or private occupational school the child would attend
Further, courts cannot require a parent to pay more than the amount of tuition, room and board, and other costs that a resident of Connecticut would pay at the University of Connecticut.
At BRODER & ORLAND LLC, our attorneys are committed to providing strategic, knowledgeable guidance on all aspects of child support, including educational support orders. Whether paying for college is an issue in your divorce or in the years following your divorce, we will help you understand your rights and work relentlessly to protect your interests.
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