Divorce and planning for a child's college education

When it comes to deciding who gets what in a divorce, Salt Lake City couples will also want to figure out how they are going to send their children to college. It is easier if the planning takes place during the divorce settlement so that there are not misconceptions later on.

Couples often open accounts meant to specifically cover college costs. If set up correctly, it can also means tax savings for the parents contributing to these plans. It may also mean that money will still be left over once the child has completed their education.

Planning for a child's education means that a plan must be prepared that will be acceptable to both parents over a long period of time.  There are a number of conditions that can be set concerning these accounts - including targeting the child for whom the account was created.  It also means keeping one's hands away from the account or possibly paying a tax penalty.

If one asks for advice regarding college financing, care should be taken in choosing the individual that gives the assistance. For example, unlike attorneys, financial planners cannot actually be involved in any divorce settlement. That’s the advantage of consulting with an experienced family law attorney when it comes to these matters.

In almost all cases, couples that work together in financially supporting their child will come out better in the long run. However, this can only be accomplished if each parent puts the needs of the child above their own.

Source: U.S. News, "Discuss College Savings During Divorce Process," by Reyna Gobel, April 29, 2013

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