If you and your spouse intend to divorce, you may be wondering who will
cover the costs of your child's tuition for college. Parents are not
required to put their child through college, but many adults want to help
their children get a head start in life and want to financially support
them through school. In some cases, the children can still be considered
minors if they are attending a college or university and are dependent
on funds from their parents to make it through. In other cases, children
are considered adults when they turn 18 and are regarded differently in
the family courts.
If you are trying to decide who pays the college tuition after divorce,
our team suggests that you discuss this during your divorce settlement
agreement process. You want to make sure that it is abundantly clear who
will be paying for college and how much will be paid. It is best to get
all of the details so that they can be legally enforced by the divorce
decree. If financial situations change, you can ask for an alteration
of the decree to change the payment methods. However, having college tuition
arrangements printed in your divorce decree can help you to feel confident
about your decisions and make sure that they are legally enforced.
Make sure to also address college funds and 529 plans. Investments or savings
that were started during your marriage are considered marital property,
which means that your children's college funds will probably be divided
in your property settlement agreement. You will want to talk with your
ex-spouse about how to address a 529 plan or any other college savings
accounts. You may want to freeze the accounts or divide them equally.
Also, while discussing all of the different implications of college tuition
post-divorce, you will want to determine who will fill out financial aid
paperwork for your child's college education. If your child wants
to apply for financial aid, he or she will need to fill out the FAFSA.
Custodial parents are normally responsible for filling out these forms,
but if you have joint custody it could make things complicated. The best
way to resolve issues is to talk about them beforehand. If you want more
information about college tuition and
divorce, contact a
Plano divorce attorney right away.