Do Divorced Parents Have to Pay for College in Tennessee?

Divorce is a complex issue, especially when children are involved. Typically, when married parents get divorced, one spouse will be considered the custodial parent and the other will be the non-custodial parent. In most cases, the non-custodial parent will have to pay child support to help ensure their child’s needs are met. One of the most commonly-asked questions about child support here in Tennessee is whether it can contribute to a child’s college funds. Please continue reading and reach out to an experienced Memphis, Tennessee child support lawyer from Rice Law to learn more. Here are some of the questions you may have:

Will I have to pay for my child to go to college in Tennessee?

Here in the state of Tennessee, child support typically ends either when a child reaches the age of 18 or when a child graduates from their regular high school class. There is no law in Tennessee that states divorced parents are required to pay for their child’s college, though if you’d like to contribute to your child’s college education, of course, you can. The only circumstance that may warrant an extension on child support past the age of 18 is if the child has a physical or mental disability.

Are there any circumstances that may warrant an early termination of a child support agreement?

Though child support is typically awarded until a child turns 18, there are other scenarios that may warrant the early termination of child support. However, to terminate a child support agreement before a child reaches the age of 18, you’ll have to prove that there has been a substantial and material change in either your ability to pay child support or in your child’s need for support. For example, if you were to develop a significant and costly medical condition that entails high medical bills, you may request a reduction in or termination of your support order.

If you have any further questions about child support in Tennessee, or you’re looking to modify your current child support order, please don’t hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable and dedicated Memphis, Tennessee family law attorney from Rice Law today. We’re here to help you in any way we can.


If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in Memphis or anywhere in Tennessee, contact Rice Law to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.