Parents in Texas are often concerned about the well- being of their child, as well as their future. Future concerns could be offset during a divorce, but it is important that parents include all potential concerns when determining a parenting plan. For many, after basic custody and child support issues are determined, some future issues are ignored or postponed. It is important that parental rights are established, but also their roles in the current and future child custody plans.
For many parents, going through a divorce is a difficult time when they seek to exercise their parental rights and obtain a fair visitation plan. Along with a parenting plan also comes a financial support plan for their children. For many parents this means considering the current and future costs of supporting their children, but not many divorced parents consider the cost of college. This is especially true if they have very young children.
Most child support arrangements do not include paying for college because their child will most likely meet the age of majority by the time they attend college. Furthermore, even if parents had agreed to share costs for college during their marriage, they might seek to revisit this issue when the time comes to make the decision. Although it could be over a decade until their child or children attend college, it is important to address custody and support issues that could be affected.
In addition to making a realistic future visitation plan, parents should devise a plan about roles in the process. In most cases, one parent will foot the bill and fill out the forms. These will be completed by the parent whom has primary physical custody of the child and financial aid will be based on their income. In joint custody arrangements, parents might need to determine this earlier on.
Even if one parent is making the payments, the other parent could make monthly, quarterly, or yearly payments to the parent paying the bills associated with their child’s college tuition. Lastly, parents could make a college fund when they are younger or shortly after the divorce. This can significantly help with tuition payments and allow for both parents to contribute to the cost of attendance.
Following a divorce or separation, parents often dispute details surrounding visitation and support payments. Those struggling with these issues should determine if they are require a medication or enforcement. It is often best to seek advice about potential options and courses of action.
Source: Reuters, “Three things divorced parents need to know about college,” Geoff Williams, March 3, 2014