Protecting a child’s education during a divorce

Pierre Domercq Divorce

Parents who are divorcing have many considerations to think about. While it might seem far off for some California parents, ensuring that the children’s college education isn’t impacted by the divorce has to be one of these.
Around 40 percent of marriages end in divorce; however, two-thirds of married couples in the United States don’t have any plans for their finances if divorce or the death of a spouse occurs. For people who are going through a divorce and have a child heading to college, keeping the finances intact is crucial.
The cost of college is growing every year. On average, students at an in-state public four-year institute will pay around $20,770 per year for tuition, fees, room and board. The cost is double for students who attend private institutes or an out-of-state university.
While the full cost of higher education might not fall on the parents, many parents want to help their children as much as possible. After going through a divorce, this might be challenging because of the divided finances after the split. Both parents may struggle to pay for two households instead of one in the immediate time after the divorce.
It is possible to take a proactive approach to this issue during the divorce. Some child custody and support agreements can include provisions for payments for college expenses. Typically, these have a monetary limit and will include a maximum number of years that the payments will be made. Another option that some parents use is establishing a 529 plan, which enables money to be kept specifically for the child’s education. This is ideal for some people because the money isn’t taxed when it is put in or taken out as long as it is used for school.