Defending Your Custody Agreement: Protecting Your Education Choices

Defending Your Custody Agreement: Protecting Your Education Choices

Thinking Of Your Child's Future During Divorce

by Daryl Young

The divorce process can be an all-consuming effort for many couples, and some may make the mistake of not thinking far enough ahead. If your child is young, their college education may seem like a faraway event that you still have plenty of time to plan for. Unfortunately, this type of thinking is ill-advised even when both parents are together. Read on to find out why it's more important than ever to make plans for your child's college education before the divorce is final.

Why Waiting Could be a Mistake

Recent scandals about well-to-do families using nefarious means to pay for and gain admittance to college highlights why this issue should be on every parent's agenda. Starting to save for college as soon as possible is important, but it's never too late to begin a savings plan for your child. If you wait and depend on scholarships and grants, you and your child might end up struggling to pay for college. More importantly, you may need to lock down the other parent's contribution during the divorce or you could end up footing the bill on your own.

Part of the Divorce Agreement

Along with child visitation and property provisions, make it a point to include a provision addressing college funding. Once the provision is part of the agreement, it will become an order that both sides have to abide by. Consider the following points when creating a college education provision for inclusion in the divorce decree.

  1. Consider income when determining contributions. The parent who has the highest income will very likely be tasked with paying child support and educational needs are a form of child support (though not enforced the same way). The fund will benefit, however, if both parents can contribute to the fund.
  2. Be sure you add some details about the type of college and the degree of funding. For example, you might designate the funding to cover a private institution or a state institution and a bachelor's degree or higher.
  3. Decide what the fund will cover and be sure to consider not only tuition but books, housing, and food.
  4. Some states have special savings plans that provide tax advantages and even some that match contributions.
  5. If the child is older, be sure to bring them into the discussion. They may not necessarily want to take the traditional college route and might instead choose short-term vocational training or courses. Everything from cooking schools to coding boot camps offers some fulfilling careers without the four-plus year commitment.
  6. Be flexible enough with the provision to allow for changes in income throughout the years, particularly if the child is still very young.

To learn more, speak to your divorce attorney at a firm such as Cooper Levenson Attorneys At Law.


About Me

Defending Your Custody Agreement: Protecting Your Education Choices

When my ex-husband decided to contest my choice to homeschool our children, I knew that I had to defend my right as the custodial parent. Our custody agreement gave me authority over educational decisions, but he still took me to court. I spent a lot of time working with an attorney to find out how best to handle it, and I did a lot of research on the laws as they applied. If you're trying to defend your educational choices amidst your divorce, this site may help. I've built it to share everything I learned and explain the process that I went through to secure my rights.