Reyna Gobel’s piece for U.S. News & World Report tackles the issue of paying for college when you’re heading for a divorce. The gist is this: make a plan. And make your plan part of the final divorce papers. Going about this could simply mean asking for the advice of a family law attorney – you knew we would say that, right? – or at least keep paying for college in mind as part of the overall break-up.
After all, if you’ve got kids, the kids are generally the most important part of any divorce or separation, followed very closely by money. Couples sometimes go to great lengths to resolve child custody and support issues.
Gobel offers three specific things to consider when it comes to paying for college during divorce.
- Freeze the 529 college savings account so it can only be used on tuition for a specific child
- Figure out how to deal with “leftover” funds after college has been paid for
- Figure out how to invest funds, i.e. conservatively or non-conservatively, depending on the particular investor’s financial risk tolerance
Paying for college can be a stressful thing, even for parents who aren’t getting divorced. But if parents are going through divorce, putting something in writing about how to pay for college and how to manage the college savings account is a good idea, one that can make life a little bit easier.