When parents of young children divorce, one of the major issues that comes up is how the costs associated with the upbringing and care of their children will be divided between them. There are a great many immediate costs to consider when it comes to this issue, such as child care costs, activity costs and medical expenses. With so many immediate costs to consider, divorcing parents may be tempted to not address the issue of who will contribute what to their children’s future college expenses in their divorce negotiations and instead put it off until a later date.
Avoiding this temptation can be very important for divorcing parents. Putting off this issue until later can make it much more difficult to deal with and can end up creating distractions from what’s important when a child is starting their college search. Conversely, addressing the issue of contributions to potential future college costs during divorce negotiations can have many benefits for divorcing parents and their children.
When such negotiations lead to an agreement being formed between parents regarding the covering of college expenses, there will generally be a greater degree of predictability and enforceability regarding how costs will be distributed when the time does come around when a couple’s children are of the age when they are looking into going to college. This can make it so divorced parents don’t have to spend time fighting over financial matters when their child is looking at colleges and instead can devote their efforts to helping their child find the right school.
Knowledgeable family law attorneys can help answer questions parents who are going through a divorce have about how to include children’s future college expense issues in divorce negotiations and what sorts of terms divorce settlements can/should contain regarding the covering of such expenses.
Source: Reuters, “CORRECTED-YOUR MONEY-Three things divorced parents need to know about college,” Geoff Williams, March 3, 2014