At the time of a divorce, parties can reserve jurisdiction, a court’s authority to decide an issue, over matters regarding their child’s post-secondary education expenses. It is particularly helpful to reserve jurisdiction if the parties have young children, as a family’s needs may change and one parent may wish to seek assistance from the other parent in facilitating their child’s college education.
The court may enter an educational support order for any child under the age of 23 after considering the following factors:
- The parents’ income, assets and other obligations, including obligations to other dependents;
- The child’s need for support to attend an institution of higher education or private occupational school considering the child’s assets and the child’s ability to earn income;
- The availability of financial aid from other sources, including grants and loans;
- 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; and
- Evidence, if any, of the institution of higher education or private occupational school the child would attend.
It is important to note that in Connecticut, if the parties do not explicitly reserve jurisdiction, then the court will be unable to set down an educational support order after a divorce has occurred. The court is also restricted from entering an order beyond the cost of University of Connecticut tuition for a full-time student.
If you have questions regarding educational support orders, or any education matter contact Joseph Maya at 203-221-3100 or by email at JMaya@MayaLaw.com.