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Plan for college costs during a divorce

On Behalf of | May 4, 2019 | Child Custody & Visitation |

Residents in Nebraska who get divorced while their children are still at home and have not yet reached college age should add planning for the cost of a college education to the list of things they should address in their divorce negotiations.

For starters, it is important to know how federal aid is determined. As explained by Student Loan Hero, it is the financial information of the custodial parent that is required on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. The determination of which parent is the custodial parent is based on the amount of time a student has lived with either parent in a year or which parent provided the most financial support during a year. This may be different than which parent has legal custody. If a custodial parent has remarried, the step-parent’s financial information will also be required on the FAFSA and impact the amount or type of aid a student may receive.

CNBC recommends that parents identify which one of them will contribute to a child’s higher education and even detail what costs will be covered. Tuition, for example, is not the only cost involved in getting a college degree. Students also incur costs for room and board, books and general living expenses.

Couples should also consider including provisions for funding international study and travel or even a gap year. Some families may choose to stipulate that a student first exhausts all possibilities for loans, grants or other aid before the parents will contribute to the cost of a college education.