Part of your divorce settlement talks will undoubtedly include future financial support for shared children. Even if college is years away, you and your spouse should at least lay the groundwork for handling the tuition and other education-related expenses. To help you and your spouse create an agreement that works for you, there are several factors you should consider.
When your children apply for financial aid to help cover the costs of college, they will need to provide income information for the custodial parent. The only exception is if the non-custodial parent also lives with the children. If the custodial parent's annual income is relatively high, whether or not the children will receive aid could be questionable.
Although you cannot predict the future, you and your spouse are familiar with your incomes now and should have an idea of what you can expect to be earning in the future. To prevent your children from missing out on financial aid, you and your spouse need to decide how much weight income will have in deciding custody.
For instance, if you earn far more than your spouse, you have to decide whether or not you are willing to allow your spouse to be the custodial parent so that your children can receive aid. If not, you and your spouse need to consider how to meet those future obligations.
If you and your spouse opened a 529 plan for your children, you and your spouse need to also factor it into your divorce negotiations. The plan needs to be protected and there are a few options available to do this.
You and your spouse could choose to split the plan. Joint ownership of the plan is not possible, but you and your spouse could withdraw half of the funds in the plan and deposit it into a different account. Both of you will have control over half of the funds at that point.
You and your spouse could also focus on monitoring activity with the account. Both of you can be considered authorized agents that can have access to the information, such as the plan statements.
If you and your spouse are not comfortable with those two options, you can opt to have someone you trust take over the plan. Both parents will have to consent to this option. You can choose a family member, friend, attorney, or other professional to help with controlling the plan.
Your divorce lawyer, such as at Grafton Law Office, can help you identify other factors you need to consider when discussing your children's college tuition.Share
8 December 2016
When I started my first small business, I had no idea how much I really didn’t know. I was fully prepared to deal with customers, sell product and even handle complaints and returns. What I wasn’t aware of was that there is so much more to it. I was lacking the legal expertise to protect the company and myself. I wanted others to benefit from my experience, mistakes and lessons learned, so I started this blog. From employment law to the legal business contracts you’ll have to sign when you form partnerships, business law is complex. I hope that the information here will help you to be better prepared when you start your business so that you’ll know when you need to call an attorney and when you can handle things yourself.