For many parents in Florida, it is a dream for them to send their children to college. A higher education degree is often associated with the opportunity for a better future than perhaps what the parents may have had. When a couple makes the choice to get divorced before their kids reach the age of applying for college, it can be helpful to discuss their approach to funding a college education when the time comes.
As explained by the Student Loan Hero, if no plan is in place in a couple’s divorce decree, that can leave the door open for disputes when the college search begins. As far as seeking financial aid, the government will consider the parent with whom the student spent the greatest number of days with in the year before applying for aid to be the custodial parent. This may not necessarily be the person identified as the custodial parent per the divorce decree. This person is the one who must provide financial data on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
If the custodial parent has remarried, their spouse’s financial data will also be required on the FAFSA. CNBC notes that if the family established a college savings plan and that plan is in the name of the non-custodial parent, aid eligibility may well be reduced.
When negotiating a divorce settlement, parents are encouraged to outline their plans for paying for college. This should include not just tuition but living expenses and even discretionary spending money as well.