JOSEPH F. EMMERTH A LOOK AT FAMILY LAW OF SULLIVAN TAYLOR & GUMINA, P.C.
THE SPECTER LOOMS
Paying for College After Divorce
August isn’t just a hot month, it’s also a month that can heat up your divorce in a bad way. Inside this newsletter we talk about back-to- school spending, a multibillion-dollar industry that puts the strain on already-strained parenting agreements. But in this space, my letter to all of you, I want to discuss another August divorce issue — college! The worst-case scenario is not having a plan when your child starts college and ending up with a huge burden that you didn’t anticipate having to pay, especially if the court orders that burden upon you. If you have a high schooler who graduated a few months ago, I hope you already have a plan for who will pay for college expenses if they’re headed off to an institution of higher education this fall. But even if college is a few years down the road, you need to start thinking (and talking) about it now. Most divorced parents kick the “college issue” down the road, which doesn’t make sense. College
expenses. Have your attorney file the appropriate motion and get the ball rolling as soon as you can.
is expensive, it lasts for years, and there’s not always a clear way to delineate who will pay for what. For starters, I highly recommend that however you split the financial burden between yourself and your ex-spouse, you make your child responsible for some of the financial expenses. Not only will this make them more accountable for their performance in school (you don’t want to split the cost of 5 years of partying), it will
COLLEGE IS EXPENSIVE, IT LASTS FOR YEARS, AND THERE’S NOT ALWAYS A CLEAR WAY TO DELINEATE WHO WILL PAY FOR WHAT.
If you’re going through a divorce at the moment, don’t kick the college issue down the road. The best outcome for everyone involved is for you to know what your burden will be years ahead so you have plenty of time to prepare. And
also ease some of the strain that you and your ex-spouse feel when deciding who covers the rest. Of course, this decision in and of itself might be contentious. It’s unlikely that your child will love the idea of sharing in the cost of their education, and their other parent may agree with them.
if you’ve been dodging the issue already, stop doing so. You faced up to all kinds of issues during your divorce. Now’s the time to take care of this one. - Joseph Emmerth
If that happens, or you’re unable to reach an agreement by yourselves for other reasons, it’s time to have a court portion out the
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