Aug 9, 2022
Effects of Divorce on Financial Aid for College
With the end of summer quickly approaching and the threat of recession looming, determining how to pay for your children’s higher education can add stress to an already challenging co-parenting environment. Normally, divorce settlements do not include details on how the college expenses will be divided since this is not required under Pennsylvania law. Support for children is only required through either the age of eighteen or graduation from high school, whichever occurs the latest. Nevertheless, if the couple chooses to do so, they can contract, within the agreement, for how much they will each contribute to the college expenses for their children.
Michael Routh, an Attorney at Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation, talks about college expenses and how being prepared for the discussions about children’s futures is essential.
Considerations for the expense of college will include a discussion of financial aid. One of the benefits of a divorced household is only one parent needs to include their income on the Federal Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA). This can be either the custodial parent or the parent who has provided the most financial support over the past twelve months. Therefore, a parent who makes a lower income, but is the custodian, can fill out the application. Generally, this provides for a larger aid award for divided households.
Of future interest, is the impact of the CARES Act on the FAFSA. This legislation will require the parent providing the most financial support to fill out the application, eliminating the benefit from the parent who earns less. Further, single parent households will no longer receive a benefit from having multiple children in college at the same time. These changes will go into effect for the school year of 2023-2024.
It will become increasingly important to maintain a positive co-parenting relationship with the financial changes looming. Being prepared for the discussions about your children’s futures is essential. Accepting guidance from a firm that specializes in the practice of divorce mediation will ensure a smooth path along the difficult road of divorce. Alpha’s program may not be fast and cheap, but it will certainly save you time and money over the long run. Let our expertise help ensure the best possible outcome for you, your spouse, and your family.
Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation