Protecting your child's education after divorce

A divorce has the potential to strain your finances and catch you off-guard. Some people may find themselves tapping into their savings, even putting their children's college education at risk.

The good news is that careful planning can help you avoid tapping into this savings and will help you protect your children's future. Here are a few things to think about.

First, fees, tuition, and room and board cost an average of $46,950 for a non-profit four-year college during the 2017-2018 school year. For public schools $20,770 is the average. Planning for this is already difficult, but if a divorce cuts into savings, it could make things worse. Before you tap into your child's college fund, keep in mind that you may not be able to get that money back through child support. Not every state requires parents to pay toward college educations. If you want to make sure the other parent has to help pay the way for your child's schooling, you should include it in your divorce arrangements.

It's possible that you'll have to reduce how much money goes into your child's education if you are a single parent. Other needs may come first. Expenses are often doubled for single parents, making it harder to get by. It's a good idea to try to invest in a 529 plan, though, because the money accumulates tax-free and may build up over time, so you can add funds when possible.

Divorce affect many things, but your child's education doesn't have to be one of them. Planning for divorce can help you take your child's education into account.

Source: CNBC, "How to keep your divorce from sabotaging your children's college education," Lorie Konish, May 18, 2018

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