As a parent, you know how expensive college is. The media is filled with reports of skyrocketing tuition prices as well as the catastrophic effect that student debt has on young professionals.
Like many parents, you may worry about how your family will afford the cost of tuition, textbooks, and room and board. You want to help your child with the cost of college (after all, most graduating high school seniors don’t go to college equipped with the money to pay for it), but it can be challenging to accomplish this goal.
Unfortunately, when you are divorcing or divorced, financing a college education can be exponentially more difficult and complex.
Still, there are a few things that you can do to make paying for your children’s education more manageable. A recent article from the Huffington Post gives some tips that may help you:
Start now. Many divorcing couples go into minute detail when determining their custody arrangements and division of property. However, few include college planning in their divorce agreements.
Regardless of the age of your child, it’s helpful to should include provisions in your divorce settlement documents to spell out how you and your spouse will help pay for college. If there is no binding legal agreement obligating both spouses to contribute, you could be left to fund the entire cost.
Make sure the money is properly allocated. When divorcing, make sure that the money you’ve set aside for college can only be used for that purpose. If you don’t secure the funds, they could end up being used to pay legal fees or going to your ex-spouse. A “529 plan” is a tax-free account that allows you and your spouse to put aside money only for college expenses.
If you are considering a divorce, make sure to seek the help of an experienced Charleston divorce and child custody attorney to ensure that you are planning for all aspects of your post-divorce life.