College Costs for Divorced Couples

If you have children of any age and are seeking a divorce make sure that negotiating college costs is top on your financial priority list. If your children are young, it is easy to overlook the importance of this issue or feel confident that it will sort itself out later. Unfortunately this is often not the case and is wise to make arrangements for college payments as far in advance as possible. College is only becoming increasingly expensive with private universities running upwards of $60,000 per year. With costs like this you are looking at potential education fees that may exceed the value of your property, retirement, or material assets. Paying for college is no small feat and should be given tremendous consideration during the negotiation stage of a divorce. (Elise is well-versed in this issue – we are currently paying for college education #4 (only 2 more waiting to start this college process) – 2 have graduated and 1 is set to graduate in about 2 days, I am currently at Smith College waiting for both graduation and Oprah’s commencement speech, yippee!!)


In the case of college costs it is possible that the court will order parents to contribute despite the child having reached 18 years of age. This is particularly true if one parent is willing to contribute and a non-custodial parent does not desire to contribute. In this instance the court may order the non-custodial parent contribute to the educational costs of their non-minor child.


When the time for college arrives, the “Free Application for Federal Student Aid” (FAFSA) will help determine a reasonable contribution from your household for the cost of college. The custodial parent (parent who child has lived with most over the past 12 months) is responsible for filling out the FAFSA. Depending your child’s financial aid package, as divorced parents you will then divide up the cost of college based on your previously agreed upon contribution numbers or percentages.


College costs should surely be on the top of your list to discuss with your attorney as you navigate both divorce and the cost of college.

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe to our newsletters

 
Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.

FURTHER READING

Latest Blog Posts

If you are getting divorced, you may be worried about what it will do to your finances. Maybe your finances are heavily intertwined with your spouse’s, or you are worried about what your future will look like, given these changes.…

Establishing paternity and parentage is important for many families and parents. Regardless of why you want to establish paternity and parentage, the process has the potential to be confusing, especially if you are unfamiliar with the terms and rules for…

After divorce, you may find yourself living on one less stream of income than you did when you were married and want to find a way to make up for it. Or even if you didn’t lose any income by…

If you are in the process of getting remarried, a prenuptial agreement may be the last thing on your mind. It should be at the forefront of it, however, as it can be beneficial for you, your spouse, and, if…

As a mom of four (now adult) kids, I remember well the flood of emotions that came each time they went to my ex’s, especially during the early days of my separation and eventually after my divorce. Not only was…

The holidays can look much different during a divorce than they did only a year earlier, and the changes can take some getting used to. The challenge is that you have to start somewhere, and in these “newer” moments, it…

You can use Collaborative Law to support your process of creating and negotiating a prenup with your partner.

In Washington state, if you are involved in a custody dispute, which involves difficult questions related to specific needs for your children or serious parenting deficits (such as mental health, substance abuse, or domestic violence), an evaluation service may be…

Apologizing can be hard, especially if you have a contentious relationship with the person you are apologizing to. If you want to have a polite (even friendly) relationship with your ex in the future, though, owning up to and apologizing…

In the same way that every divorce is different, so, too, is every divorce lawyer and the law firms where they work. From lawyers’ individual personalities, expertise, and experience to law firms’ varying cultures and values which provide the framework…