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College expenses and child support in Louisiana

Having a child is expensive, and neither divorce nor having a child out of wedlock can shield one from the financial obligation of providing for his or her child. Though the length of child support can span many years, it eventually comes to an end. But when should it end? Obviously, once the child becomes an adult, child support is no longer necessary. Yet, many Louisianans may find themselves concerned about college expenses, as this period of life can bridge both childhood and adulthood.

If there is no statutory or case law that mandates child support for college expenses, what does this mean? It means that parents of a college-bound kid should try to resolve the matter as best they can on their own. If they fail to do so, then it will likely be left to the custodial parent and the college goer to foot the bill for the expenses.

This serves to illustrate the importance of divorce negotiations. If an individual can secure, in a written agreement, that college tuition and related expenses will be paid, then the matter can be put to rest. There's a fair chance that a noncustodial parent won't agree to such terms, but there may be key issues that they want address in the divorce that the custodial parent can use as leverage to reach an agreement about college expenses.

Knowing how to negotiate effectively is a skill that is critical to reaching a fair outcome in a divorce. Additionally, knowing family law and how to utilize it to one's advantage can be beneficial post-divorce, particularly when seeking to recoup or modify child support. Thus, those who want a zealous advocate on their side should consider seeking out legal counsel.

Source: FindLaw, "College Expenses and Child Support FAQ," accessed on Sep. 9, 2016

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