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College, divorce and the financial aid process

As you probably know, the cost of college continues to increase. With this in mind, you may wonder how you will be able to help your child obtain his or her college degree.

Your personal life may add to your concerns, such as if you are going through the process of divorce. If you find yourself in this position, it is important to prepare a college support agreement to go along with a child support agreement. This is not required by law, but it will go a long way in making things much easier on both parents as well as the child.

In short, this agreement should outline how much each parent is contributing towards the child's college expenses, such as tuition, room and board. Along with this, it's important to touch on details such as the age limit, the number of years for providing this money and any specifications regarding the institution.

Also make note of how the money is to be paid. Will it be paid directly to the school? Will it be given directly to the child? Without these details, there can be a lot of gray area that leads to issues in the future.

It can be difficult to go through divorce when your child is closing in on college age. If you find yourself in this spot, think long and hard about what you can do to make life easier on everyone involved. This means working with a legal professional to create a college support agreement that both you and your ex-spouse are comfortable with.

Source: The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid, "Divorce and Financial Aid," accessed Aug. 04, 2016

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