Divorce and Your Graduate Student

Does your daughter dream about going to medical school? Does your son envision becoming a lawyer? You may know that divorced parents can be responsible for college costs—but what about the costs of graduate school?

 The Indiana Supreme Court recently ruled that divorced parents cannot be forced to contribute to their child’s graduate-school expenses. In Allen v. Allen, divorced parents agreed that the father would be responsible for their daughter’s educational expenses. When that daughter decided to go to dental school, the father asked the Court to order the mother to contribute to the daughter’s dental-school expenses.  The Supreme Court rejected that request:

[I]ndiana is one of the few states that have a statute providing for educational expenses once a child has reached the age of majority. Most states have no law requiring divorced parents provide college expenses, and of the states that do, the majority limit payment of the expenses to a certain age.

 

“We also note that married parents have no legal obligation to pay for their children’s educational expenses beyond high school, let alone graduate school expenses,” [Justice] David wrote.

 

He ended by noting that divorced parents can still agree to pay a portion or all of their child’s graduate expenses, and that agreement can be enforceable by the court.

Even though a court cannot force parents to pay for graduate school, other issues regarding elementary, secondary, and college expenses often arise in the divorce process. The attorneys at Ruppert & Schaefer, P.C. have experience dealing with these issues and are available to discuss them with you. To make an appointment with one of our attorneys, call (317) 580-9295.

 

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