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Talk about college costs during divorce

As a general rule, when your child turns 18 in Ohio, neither you nor your spouse has to pay child support any longer since that child is legally an adult. This should be noted in your divorce agreement.

Now, there are some exceptions. If your child is still in high school and living at home, for instance, child support obligations can continue until graduation.

But what if your child decides to go to college after high school? Who has to cover those costs?

Often, these costs -- tuition, living expenses, etc. -- are viewed as conditional expenses. They're not mandatory, nor do all children attend college at all. This means that your child support obligations will not automatically extend to cover your child's college experience.

For this reason, it is important for you and your ex to talk about this during the divorce process. How much will college cost? Do you both want to help pay? How can you fairly divide the expenses? Parents who want to provide their children with one of life's opportunities may agree during the divorce to a certain division of support and financial assistance for college. Working this out in advance can get it into the court order and ensures that neither of you -- or your child -- are surprised when the time comes to cover college costs.

The financial side of a divorce is often a struggle for couples because they do not want to make any long-term mistakes. As such, it is very important to know all of the rights you have, what legal options you can use and what conversations you and your ex must have.

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