Paying for College After a Divorce

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As many Georgia high school seniors start receiving their college acceptance letters this time of year, their parents are left to figure out how to fund their educational needs. When parents are divorced or are starting down the path toward divorce, this issue can become trickier. 

As explained by Forbes, child support awards do not typically include requirements to pay for college. However, separate provisions can be developed and added to a divorce decree. Exactly what these provisions may state can vary from family to family. Some people may find it beneficial to establish trust or escrow accounts into which money can be added over the course of time. Other people may prefer that lump sums are given up front toward a future education. Some of these details may be impacted by the age of the child or children at the time of the divorce.  

It is also important to determine how parents will pay for college and the exact obligation of each parent. Tuition is far from the only cost incurred. Room, board, books, and basic living allowances will also be needed. One parent may be willing to pay tuition while the other parent may agree to pay the rest. Other parents might opt to split everything. 

When it comes time to file for financial aid, the government does not consider custodial parents in the same way that the courts might. According to Nerd Wallet, even in a joint custody situation, only one parent will be deemed the custodial parent. That is the person with whom the child lived the greatest number of days in the prior year. It is that parent's financial information that needs to be reported on federal financial aid forms. 

Always talk to your divorce attorney about creating a tuition plan. Doug Dreyer has the knowledge to help you make sure your children will have the funds to complete college. Call Dreyer Law today to set up a free consultation.