A few tips to make the dream of college more accessible
When married couples bring a child into the world, its blank slate lets their imaginations run wild. Will he be a lawyer? Will she be an architect? However, when those children's parents divorce, those dreams might disappear without proper guidance. Here are a few tips that can help divorced couples who hope to send their kids to college make it less taxing on both sides.
1. Federal financial aid will look at the parent the child lived with the year before they begin applying for schools. To make this work in your favor, make sure the parent with the lower income of the two have the primary custody during that timeframe. That way, the child can be eligible for more financial aid options.
2. Don't hide anything in your financial disclosures. Being coy about your finances when it's time to disclose them can lead to delays in processing if something comes up, possibly eliminating applicants from various forms of aid.
3. In your divorce, spell college prep expenditures out. Whether it's prep courses or tuition, how they'll be paid for shouldn't be on your kid's list of things to worry about. They have enough to think about (like actually studying!), so when divorce filings are being written up, make sure a list of these items and who's paying for them (or being split) is on there,
4. Lastly, if one of the parents should pass before the child is in college, make sure that the divorce spells out on paper how life or disability insurance will pay out for their educational future. It's a morbid thought, but it's better to have all your bases covered in the future than allowing bad feelings now hurt those dreams of lawyers and architects in the family come true.