Divorce & College: 3 Ways To Ensure Your Child's Future Isn't Jeopardized
You've found yourself dealing with two of the most stressful events of your life at the same time – divorce and sending your child off to college. While this time of your life is hectic, there are a few things you should be sure to do to ensure your child's college plans can remain intact.
Secure Your Child's College Funds Immediately
If you've spent the past 18 years of your child's life scrimping and saving for this moment, it can be devastating to think that your divorce could lead to a significant financial loss for your child. While divorce will be hard on the child no matter what, their college education doesn't need to be jeopardized.
Your first step should be to ensure that your child's funds are secured and cannot be used for any other purpose. Any funds earmarked for college but not in a college-only account may be considered equal property, and therefore, split between both spouses accordingly. These funds could be court ordered to be used for legal fees or other such expenses, which is why securing them now is important.
Hire a Financial Adviser
An experienced and knowledgeable financial adviser can do wonders for you following a divorce, but they can also help you with any college-related financial issues.
The financial aid process is difficult enough – add divorce into the mix and you're in for a whole lot of frustration. Your financial adviser can walk you through the college financial aid process, as well as give you tips on how you and your soon-to-be ex can save money. If, for example, your teen is living with you and your ex equally, the parent with the lower income and assets could provide the college with their financial income. This could possibly increase your child's aid options.
Set Up a Formal Meeting
No matter your circumstances, communication during divorce is vital but can be difficult to achieve. With the help of your attorney, you and your soon-to-be ex should meet formally to discuss college finances and similar scenarios.
After securing funds and meeting with a financial adviser, this meeting can be used to discuss the finer points of contention, such as breaking down the financial responsibilities between each parent. If your child is commuting, who will pay for car insurance and gas? Which parent will purchase the textbooks? What about the meal plan? These and other issues should be handled within the presence of your attorneys so that solid plans can be put into place.
At such a stressful time in your life, you need all of the support you can get. With the help of a divorce attorney and financial adviser, you and your ex can settle on best terms while ensuring that your child's college plans don't suffer. For more information, contact a professional like Garrett & Silvey Law Firm.