Planning for your child’s tuition in a divorce

Many things change during a divorce. Separating spouses expect to make a lot of tough adjustments. Long-term plans need modifications. Both men and women need to reassess retirement, consider disruption with savings and more. When children are in the mix, the money situation gets even more complex. You want the best for your family, so it is important to factor in a higher education for your children.

Making the right arrangements

Under New York law, parents are required to support their children until the age of 21. However, the state still considers college as a luxury. Paying for a higher education is a form of support.

There are a few factors you will need to consider before reaching an agreement with your spouse, such as:

  • The age of your children. If your children are currently in elementary school, the courts are not going to make a decision at that time. On the other hand, maybe your children are finishing up high school. You want to consider a tuition plan that best fits the timeline.
  • Educational background. When looking at costs, factor in where the children is at from an educational perspective. Did your child take college preparatory classes or precollege workshops?
  • Cost of education. If your child is finishing up high school, sit down and have a talk with them about their goals. Do they want to pursue an Associate’s Degree? A Bachler’s? Do they want to become a doctor or psychologist? All these factors affect the cost of college.
  • Impact on child support. Once you have a basic estimate on the price of tuition, also consider how it will affect child support. Where will the money be coming from? It could be savings, special accounts or contributions from family members.

There’s a lot to think about during a divorce, and it can all get overwhelming. Some parents have 529 accounts for their children’s education, while others are starting from scratch. Every situation is unique. An agreement with clear language benefits everyone involved.

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