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A duty to pay for college arises only where a parent agrees to assume such a duty. Since noncustodial parents are generally much less willing than custodial parents to pay for college, college support provisions are appearing in negotiated divorce settlements with increasing frequency. These provisions are appearing not only because college is becoming more important but also because the cost of a college education is increasing. In many divorced families, the custodial parent and the child cannot afford to pay the costs of college by themselves, and the custodial parent is willing to make concessions in other areas in order to obtain college support provisions.
As a result of these changes, college support provisions are appearing in negotiated agreements with unprecedented frequency. When these agreements come before the courts for construction or enforcement, the courts are facing a wide variety of college-related issues. The purpose of this Manual is to examine the large and growing body of case law involving college support provisions in private separation agreements.
This Manual is written from the view point of the reader who is confronted with such an agreement after it has been signed. The crucial points of interest to that reader are whether the agreement is valid, what its terms mean, and how it can be enforced against a party who refuses to comply with it.
National Legal Research Group, Inc.
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