Is It Possible to Prevent Divorce from Sabotaging My Child’s College Education?
If you ask many parents who are contemplating divorce what their hesitation might be, you may hear that concerns over a divorce potentially dissipating their child’s college fund is a common concern. To be sure, a number of people stay in unhappy marriages each year out of concern for their child’s future.
However, there are ways of ensuring that your divorce won’t sabotage your child’s college education without automatically having to stay in an unhappy marriage. Below, we discuss some of these options in greater detail.
Having a Financial Plan in Place Is Essential, Regardless Of Marital Status
Ultimately, a significant number of marriages end in divorce. And, unfortunately, many married couples still do not have a financial plan in place in the event of divorce or one spouse’s death. With college costs increasing rapidly each year, this lack of careful planning can have an impact, whether you divorce or stay married.
According to College Board, a public, four-year-in-state school costs an average of $20,770 per year, and private colleges cost approximately $46,950 per year. While getting divorced can sometimes mean that there’s less money to go around, the fact remains that saving to pay for college often takes a backseat to other family expenses that come up, and even many married couples will have a hard time affording college without taking the proper steps to plan and save in advance.
Many agreements between divorcing spouses provide for four or five years of college payments, but this doesn’t mean that parents should not also revisit important decisions, such as whether their child will go to a public or private university, and whether they should pursue grants, scholarships, and possibly student loans in order to do so. There are also other potential options out there to help defray the costs of a college education for your child, such as deferment or discounts for multiple children.
Consulting an Experienced Divorce Attorney Who Also Works On the Financial Implications of Divorce
If you are contemplating divorce and are concerned about your child’s future, the smartest step you can take is to consult an experienced divorce attorney who also has experience in planning for and addressing financial concerns like these. For example, saving for college via a “529 plan” is ideal for parents saving for their child’s education because it is never taxed as long as it is used to pay for education expenses. That being said, even plans like these need to be proactively addressed in a divorce agreement.
If you live in Florida, contact the Arwani Law Firm today to find out more about our proficient legal services in this area.