What is Post-Secondary Educational Expenses?
Pursuant to Indiana law, trial courts may order parents to be responsible for all or a portion of a child’s post-secondary education expenses. The court is to consider the statutory factors in determining whether such an order is reasonable. These factors include:
- The child’s ability and aptitude
- The child’s ability to obtain loans and other sources of financing
- The ability of each parent to obtain additional financing
- Special medical, hospital or dental expenses of the child
- Current child support payments already being made
Who Should Use These Forms?
If your child is college bound or will soon be entering an institution for higher learning and there is no order with respect to the payment of college expenses for the child, now is the time to petition the court.
Change In The Law
Effective July 1, 2012, the presumptive age for termination of child support, other than support for educational needs, in both paternity and divorce cases was changed from age 21 to 19. A motion for post-secondary (college) expenses should be filed before the child is age 19. There are circumstances that extend the deadline to age 21 depending on the facts of the case. As a general rule support orders (weekly and educational needs) are not retroactive and the earliest effective date is the date of filing.
Although many non-custodial parents would rather not be ordered by the court to have to pay post-secondary educational expenses, this is a good policy. Without the courts ordering the non-custodial parent to pay the educational expenses, many children may not receive the support necessary for them to attend college and/or a trade school and receive their post-secondary education.