Don’t Forget To Consider College Expenses During Custody Negotiations

///Don’t Forget To Consider College Expenses During Custody Negotiations

Don’t Forget To Consider College Expenses During Custody Negotiations

Florida has a predetermined formula set forth by their child support guidelines to determine how much support is owed and by which parent. The guidelines take into consideration of ensuring the health and welfare of the child and related expenses (food, shelter, clothing, medical care, etc.) but it does not take into consideration the costs of secondary education (like college). Going to college is considered a privilege and not a right so it is not included in child support arrangements.

In order to prepare for college expenses, you will have to included them in your custody settlement during the divorce proceedings. Without taking these measures, you won’t have any other form of recourse in the future to attempt to secure financial assitance for your child’s education from your ex-spouse.

There is no set way to establish guidelines for continued educational support. You and your former spouse can create agreeable terms how you see fit. For most cases, spouses are easily able to come to an agreement because the promised funds are solely for the child’s needs and not paid directly to the other spouse. Keep in mind when determining the types of funds to be covered and how much each parent should contribute, that college expenses include more than just tuition, like books, meal plans, housing, and lab fees.

One way that the college educational expenses can be handled is to create an educational savings plan, like a 529 plan or Coverdell ESA, or a dedicated trust for college tuition and expenses. Each parent contributes up to an agreed amount or percentage to the education plan or trust while the child ages so that the funds are available after high school graduation. Another option to address the child’s future educational costs is to agree that each parent will contribute funds at a predetermined rate after the completion of high school and the child has chosen a school to attend. The rates each parent is responsible for can be determined based on each parent’s financial capabilities. Meaning, if one parent makes a significantly more amount of money, they contribute at a higher rate than the other parent.

During the negotiations, parents can opt to share the full costs of college expenses or only a partial cost, leaving the child to fulfill part of the financial responsibility through student loans or scholarships.

By |2019-01-28T18:30:10-05:00December 24th, 2018|Custody|