College Costs for Divorced Couples

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.


Subscribe to our newsletters

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


Latest Blog Posts

Unsure where to begin gathering the foundation you need to go through the divorce process with confidence and well-prepared? Consider the following 10 tips to prepare for divorce.

Everyone who has anyone in their life needs an estate plan, even people who own little or no property.

A common question about legal fees is why they are so high. The following article details what is built into legal fees and explains their cost.

Gifting an estate plan is an act of love because an estate plan goes far beyond material possessions, addressing the emotional, practical, and long-term well-being of your loved ones.

Prenuptial agreements (also known as prenups) can play a pivotal role in safeguarding individual spousal rights in the event of divorce and can also strengthen a marriage.

Valentine’s Day can be tricky for single parents, maybe even you. Unpartnered, at least for the time being, you might not foresee your plans fitting into conventional images of the holiday. But that doesn’t have to be. Valentine’s Day, when you’re single, can be more than a day you need to survive. It can be a day to look forward to.

Collaborative law has evolved into a globally practiced
discipline, extending well beyond the realm of family law, and is used frequently in Seattle divorces.

Classifying January as divorce month could be misleading, given how some of the numbers tell a different story. However, one thing remains clear: January is a great time for a fresh start.

A family law attorney can help with child custody (residential time) by creating or modifying a parenting plan.

Given the importance of the trustee’s role in an estate plan, it is necessary to understand the responsibilities before choosing a trustee or accepting the obligation to become one.