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How to manage college costs during a divorce

Couples in Pennsylvania are finding that divorce can have a devastating impact on a family's finances. Since divorce is prevalent, all people are encouraged to consider every aspect of their finances when in the process of a divorce or dispute. This is especially important because the household's finances become divided into two separate homes. One of the most important considerations is how the student's financial plans will be handled in the event of a devastating divorce.

A couple's primary concern is often the well-being of the minor children. Both parties must somehow manage the immediate financial needs of the children. The couple's plans for their children's education may take a backseat because there may be less money to go around. Having a financial plan in place to address the child's educational needs is as important as discussions on marital property and pensions. Making college affordable can encompass a tuition savings plan such as a 529 account, scholarships, grants, and legacy student tuition rates. What couples find in a typical divorce scenario is that while their hopes for a higher education for their children may be a priority, opinions may diverge on how to pay for it.

If you are divorcing, you may want to address this with your attorney like you would business assets, retirement plans, or complex asset division. You want to be sure that your divorce attorney can map out the plans for your children's educational expenses. Often parents will put agreements into place planning for five years of educational expenses. If you have a 529 savings plan in place for tuition, you or the spouse may be the sole beneficiary. Stipulations one how and when the money can be used should be addressed with the attorney during a high asset divorce.

Your winning team should consist of a financial planner when dealing with a high asset divorce. The financial planner and divorce attorney are good resources to discuss the tuition needs of your children. You want to make sure that your children's future remains secure, and careful planning with a financial expert and divorce attorney may help with that.

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