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Who pays for your child’s college education after your divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 21, 2022 | Divorce

Divorce will affect many aspects of your current circumstances and your future, including your finances. You may have to make immediate adjustments to your spending, and the division of marital property could affect your long-term savings as well. If you are a parent, one of your primary concerns will be addressing the ways your divorce could negatively impact your children. This includes paying for their future educational needs.

New Jersey parents may share the responsibility of paying for their child’s college education, but the specific ways and amount each one contributes depends on the individual situation. As part of your final divorce order, it may be prudent to include terms regarding how each of you will pay for college. Even if your children are young, addressing this matter now can reduce complications and potential disputes in the future.

The costs of higher education

College is expensive, and without proper planning, it can be an unmanageable burden for parents. It is ideal to plan and save now in order to reduce the financial strain higher education can cause. In order to equitably share this responsibility and distribute the costs fairly between the two parents, it is essential to calculate the potential amount the student will require. Tuition is typically the main factor in college expenses, but other costs include books, supplies, room and board, travel expenses and more.

Depending on the financial capabilities of each parent, there may be a cap on the amount one must contribute. There may also be terms that address whether each parent must approve of the college selection. Your divorce may require the establishment of a 529 plan, which is a savings plan specifically for college savings. Each parent may contribute his or her share directly into this account.

The best interests of the children

The goal of any decisions you make during your divorce involving your kids should be for the protection of their best interests. When it comes to paying for college, you have the right to pursue terms that will help your child pay for his or her college education while not leaving you with an unfair or unmanageable financial burden. Addressing college expenses in your divorce order may protect your interests as it can shield you from undue disputes and complications when addressing future educational needs.