Getting a Divorce? Make Sure You Consider Your Child’s Future College Needs
When getting a divorce, many couples aren’t thinking about the future financial needs of their child or children who may want to attend college later. Sadly, after the divorce is final, it is often too late. One parent may end up paying the majority of their child’s college tuition, while the second parent sits on the sidelines. And, the courts can’t be of much help!
What many parents don’t realize is that once a child turns 18, the court no longer has jurisdiction over what parents do or don’t do, in terms of child support or paying for higher education costs. So, a parent who wants their teen to be able go to college may be in the position of not being able to get help from their ex-spouse.
That’s where the Divorce Settlement Agreement enters in. The Divorce Settlement Agreement is a binding contract. It can define which parent pays for college and at what percentage, as well as the GPA that a child must maintain in order to continue to receive financial assistance from their parents. When parents consider how they will pay for their child’s college expenses during the divorce process, they are ensuring that Jake or Ava’s college years will be much less stressful.
In a Divorce Settlement Agreement, one parent can request that funds for college be placed into an 529 or trust account to make sure they are available when needed. They may also get an up-front lump sum payment toward future college expenses. It all depends on what is negotiated. When determining the ability of a parent to pay, courts generally want to see that one parent is not unfairly burdened with college costs.
If you are about to get a divorce and want to discuss how your Divorce Settlement Agreement can best address your child’s future college needs, please contact our office for a free consultation.
To discuss whether a vocational examination is appropriate in your case, please contact our office for a free consultation.
Attorney Christina Sherman is a Marin County CA family law attorney and Certified Family Law Specialist, specializing in divorce, child custody and support, marital contracts and other family law issues.
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