College Tuition Post-Divorce

College Tuition Post-Divorce

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.