Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Every parent dreams of their child going off onto higher education, whether that may be college or another type of post-high school training program. All of these programs come at a cost and I am often asked as a New Jersey Child Support Attorney, “How are we going to get the money to pay for this?” If the child has a 529 plan or some other college savings plan that was earmarked for his education prior to the divorce, that’s great. In that case, we’ll tap into that asset first.
If the parents haven’t planned for college and no money has been set aside for college, how are his college expenses addressed post-divorce? I counsel my clients to have these conversations early and often, beginning as early as the child’s sophomore year of high school. If we’re already in the midst of the divorce, the time to have those conversations is now. At the conclusion of a divorce, a good settlement agreement doesn’t leave college open-ended, so the parents have a responsibility to talk. Everyone involved is obligated to participate in financial aid planning and the application process to ensure that the child exhausts all opportunities to pursue scholarships and other ways to reduce the cost.
The family may decide this child can only go to an in-state school. Maybe they will have to go to a public college versus a private college. You and your former spouse cannot wait until the child’s senior year of high school to discuss these issues, nor should they be issues that remain silent. College savings and expenses are a very, very important issue that must be addressed during the course of your divorce.
Are you worried about how paying for college for your kids will affect you? Contact dedicated New Jersey Child Support Attorney Tanya Freeman for guidance.
This educational blog was brought to you by Tanya Freeman, an experienced New Jersey Child Support Attorney.