College Financial Aid Forms and Tuition for Divorced Parents

Everyone knows about the skyrocketing cost of college tuition. So for divorcing couples with children, there may be questions about who is responsible for supporting a college-aged child’s education and who should complete financial aid applications.It is important to realize that Maryland Courts have ruled that a parent is not required by law to provide financial support for a child’s college education. For that reason, if there is no written agreement about college financing at the time of divorce, there is no legal route for insisting that an ex-spouse contribute to a child’s education costs.If you and your spouse have already established savings or investments in your children’s names, these will likely be considered marital property and will be dealt with in any property settlement agreement that is drawn up. Accounts such as 529 savings plans could be split or frozen, or a specific protocol for deposits and withdrawals agreed upon by both parties can be established.The Cost of CollegeWhen determining the cost of college for inclusion in a child support agreement, be sure to consider everything your child will need. Besides the tuition itself, you will need to cover the cost of books, room and board, and incidental expenses. These costs can change from year to year, especially tuition, which seems to be on an upward trend.Personal financial circumstances can also fluctuate from year to year so unless designated college funds have already been set aside, it could be risky to put a specific number into writing when agreeing to a child support plan. There are a number of options parents can use instead including:Setting a maximum amount to be paid toward the cost of collegeDetermining a percentage that each parent will paySetting limits on what type of college the child can apply to so that costs can be better determinedAgreeing to support a child’s college education and work out the details when the time arrivesFilling Out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)Many students may qualify for federal student aid by completing the FAFSA. For children of divorced parents, it can be confusing as to whose financial information should be included on the application. The parent responsible for completing the FAFSA is one with whom the child lives. For children who divide their time equally between parents, the FAFSA should be filled out by the parent who provided more support. This criterion can and will be verified by colleges where your child applies, so be prepared to provide a copy of your divorce decree if they request it.

View Attorney Profile

Gerard F. Miles

Licensed since 1978

Member at firm Huesman, Jones and Miles, LLC

AWARDS

AV Preeminent

RECENT POSTS

  • Types of Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries
    Posted on October 11, 2019
    Topic: Automobile Accidents

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 30,000 people lose their lives and close to two million people are injured each year in car accidents across the United States. These unexpected and catastrophic accidents often leave victims with lifelong pain and permanent disability. Compensation from a personal injury lawsuit can help ... Read more

  • Top Financial Reasons That Lead to Divorce
    Posted on October 4, 2019
    Topic: Child Support Divorce Family Law Premarital Agreements

    Money is among the top reasons cited for divorce, along with infidelity and lack of communication. Financial issues can cause stress in a marriage, especially if each partner has different spending habits or financial priorities. There are several money-related matters that lead to divorce; below are five of the most common. Money-Related Reasons for DivorceDiffering ... Read more

  • Top Financial Reasons That Lead to Divorce
    Posted on October 4, 2019
    Topic: Divorce Family Law Premarital Agreements

    Money is among the top reasons cited for divorce, along with infidelity and lack of communication. Financial issues can cause stress in a marriage, especially if each partner has different spending habits or financial priorities. There are several money-related matters that lead to divorce; below are five of the most common. Money-Related Reasons for DivorceDiffering ... Read more

Gerard F. Miles

Licensed since 1978

Member at firm Huesman, Jones and Miles, LLC

AWARDS

AV Preeminent

RECENT POSTS

  • Types of Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries
    Posted on October 11, 2019
    Topic: Automobile Accidents

    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 30,000 people lose their lives and close to two million people are injured each year in car accidents across the United States. These unexpected and catastrophic accidents often leave victims with lifelong pain and permanent disability. Compensation from a personal injury lawsuit can help ... Read more

  • Top Financial Reasons That Lead to Divorce
    Posted on October 4, 2019
    Topic: Child Support Divorce Family Law Premarital Agreements

    Money is among the top reasons cited for divorce, along with infidelity and lack of communication. Financial issues can cause stress in a marriage, especially if each partner has different spending habits or financial priorities. There are several money-related matters that lead to divorce; below are five of the most common. Money-Related Reasons for DivorceDiffering ... Read more

  • Top Financial Reasons That Lead to Divorce
    Posted on October 4, 2019
    Topic: Divorce Family Law Premarital Agreements

    Money is among the top reasons cited for divorce, along with infidelity and lack of communication. Financial issues can cause stress in a marriage, especially if each partner has different spending habits or financial priorities. There are several money-related matters that lead to divorce; below are five of the most common. Money-Related Reasons for DivorceDiffering ... Read more