College Funds in Divorce: Court Orders, Agreed Upon Terms, 529 Plans, Differences in State Laws

This Program Has Been Cancelled

A live 90-minute CLE webinar with interactive Q&A

Thursday, March 5, 2020

1:00pm-2:30pm EST, 10:00am-11:30am PST

This CLE webinar will enable family law attorneys to support clients in meeting their expectations concerning the payment of children's college tuition. Depending on the state, either a relevant statute applies or an agreement or trust may be necessary. Attorneys cannot assume anything concerning this issue and must become well-versed in the various options.


Roughly 70% of high school graduates attend college, and the overwhelming majority of their parents pay at least some of the costs of attendance. When parents divorce, this support becomes less certain both because of the disruption to family finances and because there is no universal rule requiring any parent to pay for college.

Some jurisdictions take the view that a parent is not obligated to support a child who has reached the age of majority. Other jurisdictions have at least some form of legal responsibility. The third group of states has no set answer to the question.

The safest course is to establish a written agreement. Some courts have invalidated these agreements, emphasizing the importance of precision in drafting. Agreements should address not only the general obligation to pay but also ownership of prepaid plans (such as 529 plans) and assumptions made regarding employer-provided benefits.

Listen as this panel of family attorneys from representative jurisdictions describes how each set of principles is applied, how to draft a strong agreement, and other "real-world" considerations such as the relationship between divorce and financial aid.



  1. Required payment jurisdictions
  2. Jurisdictions without payment requirements
  3. Drafting considerations
    1. The extent of financial obligation, including monetary limits
    2. Conditions (grades, etc.)
  4. Related issues
    1. 529 plans
    2. Employee benefits
    3. Financial aid


The panel will review these and other essential matters:

  • The critical state-to-state differences on this obligation
  • Key practice pointers in the drafting of agreements
  • Ownership and control of 529 plans
  • Relationship of divorce to financial aid


Gross, Mark
Mark P. Gross

Founding and Managing Partner
Brot Gross & Fisbein

Mr. Gross is a Founding and Managing Partner in the Firm, who has over 30 years family law experience. He has...  |  Read More

Additional faculty
to be announced.