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When California parents welcome new babies into the world, they often fanaticize about what the future will hold for their infants. Some parents dream of successful professional careers for their kids; others simply hope that their children find happiness and lead fulfilling lives. When parents find themselves facing divorce they often run into challenges regarding how they will help their children reach their full potential.

For many kids and parents, attending college is an aspiration shared by children and adults alike. However, whether a parent should be obligated to pay for his child’s higher education in the wake of a divorce is a question some encounter as their kids graduate from high school. According to the National Council of State Legislatures, parental obligations regarding this topic are split and vary from state to state.

In California, parents are not obligated to pay for their children’s post-secondary tuition costs though some choose to include provisions regarding this topic in their child support orders. Parents generally must pay for their children’s every day expenses and financial needs until those kids reach the age of majority; since college begins for most kids after they turn eighteen, tuition payments not obligations automatically assumed in all child support matters.

Parents may elect to include instructions regarding their children’s potential college costs in their orders when they settle their divorces. Just as not all married parents can or choose to pay for their kids’ educations, divorcing parents may also make the same choices when they bring their marriages to their ends. While the information contained in this post should not be read as specific legal advice, it may be used by readers as a place to start a conversation about an important topic related to outstanding child support matters.