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Divorce and preserving goals for helping children with college

One thing that may matter greatly for you as a parent is making sure your child will one day be able to get a high-quality college education. Given this, you may have been planning for quite some time on how to best financially support your child's college dreams. However, now something has happened that has left you wondering about the future of these plans: You are getting divorced.

Divorces can have major impacts on a parent's overall plans for helping his or her children with future college expenses. Reasons for this include:

  • A divorce greatly changes a parent's financial situation, as it splits one household into two
  • A divorce could leave a parent with new financial obligations, such as alimony payments
  • The savings parents have already set aside for college expenses, such as money put into a 529 savings plan, are among the assets that could raise division questions in a divorce

So, it is possible that a person's original plans for providing for his or her children's future college expenses could be thrown into disarray by a divorce. However, there are measures parents can take in the face of such complications to try to help ensure they are still able to achieve their goals related to helping their children with college. Things parents may find it helpful to do as they head into divorce include:

  • Look at how the divorce will likely impact their plans related to college expenses, and carefully consider how best to adjust the plans in light of these impacts
  • Think about whether the paying of their children' college expenses is something they want to address in the divorce settlement
  • Think about how they want to address assets like 529 savings in property division

How best to protect goals related to helping children with future college expenses during a divorce will vary from situation to situation. So, when parents are getting divorced, they may want to discuss their plans on this front and what options they have related to these goals in their divorce with skilled professionals, including experienced divorce attorneys.

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