What Effect Does Children's College Costs Have On Alimony in Arizona
Effect of Children’s College Expenses on Alimony in Arizona
A subject that comes up in some divorce cases is what effect does children’s college costs have on alimony in Arizona.
The first thing you need to know is a Court does not have the authority to order either spouse to pay the expenses for a child to attend college after the child has turned eighteen (18) years old unless the parties agree in writing to do so.
If the parties agree to contribute to their child’s college expenses, the court can enforce that agreement as a contract between the parties.
The reason the court does not have the authority to order a parent to contribute to a child’s college expenses is that the legislature has not authorized a judge to order a parent to contribute to a child’s college expenses.
The Arizona Court of Appeals in the case of Weaver v. Weaver ruled that a court only has such authority conveyed upon it by statute.
Since there is no statute that permits a court to order a parent to contribute to a child’s college expenses, the court does not have the authority to do so.
Effect of Child’s College Expenses on Alimony
However, the Court may consider whether a spouse is willing to contribute to his or her children’s college expenses when awarding alimony in Arizona.
It is in this way that children’s college costs have an effect on alimony in Arizona.
The legislature listed several factors a judge must consider when determining how much alimony to award in a case.
One of those factors was the parents’ willingness to contribute to his or her children’s college expenses.
Many people neglect to address this issue when testifying at trial, so it is important to ensure questions are asked regarding each parent’s intentions concerning paying for future college expenses when dealing with the issue of alimony in Arizona.
If the parent testifies that he or she will not enter into a binding agreement to pay some of the children’s college expenses, you or your attorney could obtain testimony from the spouse willing to contribute to those expenses to impact the amount of alimony awarded by the court.
For example, if the spouse who is seeking alimony testified that he or she will not enter into an agreement to contribute to the children’s college expenses the spouse who is ordered to pay spousal maintenance may argue his spouse should receive a lower alimony award because the spouse paying alimony will need to save for the children’s college education which he or she will pay without assistance from the other parent.
On the other hand, if the parent who will not enter into an agreement to contribute to the children’s college expenses is the spouse who will be ordered to pay alimony then the spouse receiving alimony can argue he or she should receive a larger award of alimony because he or she will have to pay those expenses without the financial assistance of the spouse who is paying alimony.
Contact Our Scottsdale Arizona Alimony Attorneys
If you have questions about what effect children’s college costs have on alimony in Arizona, you should seriously consider contacting the attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC. Our Arizona spousal maintenance and family law attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in spousal maintenance and family law cases.
Our family law firm has earned numerous awards such as US News and World Reports Best Arizona Family Law Firm, US News and World Report Best Divorce Attorneys, “Best of the Valley” by Arizona Foothills readers, and “Best Arizona Divorce Law Firms” by North Scottsdale Magazine.
Call us today at (480)305-8300 or reach out to us through our appointment scheduling form to schedule your personalized consultation and turn your spousal maintenance or family law case around today.
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