Numerous parents in Massachusetts would love to help their children pay for college someday. Unfortunately, divorce can affect finances and make such a goal seem almost impossible. Can anything be done to ensure money is there for college, even when dealing with post-divorce financial issues?

The truth is, yes, there are options. If paying a child’s college expenses was a goal before a divorce, it may be possible to arrange a divorce settlement that allows the money needed to still be put aside. For example, certain assets may be put into a 529 college savings plan or another financial account, rather than being given to either party.

Another option would be including money for higher education in a child support order. While, technically, a support-paying parent usually only has to pay until a child graduates high school and reaches the age of 18, sometimes, it is possible to extend the order to help fund college. This may be a detail parents work out on their own and include in their support order, or it may be a request that must be heard in court — particularly if one parent objects to the idea.

Post-divorce finances can be a bear. Splitting up a household is expensive, which can make certain goals — like paying for a child’s higher education — seem out of reach. At the end of the day, legal counsel may be able to help divorcing parents in Massachusetts find a way to meet this financial goal by fighting for divorce settlements that take it into consideration.

Source: CNBC, “How to keep your divorce from sabotaging your children’s college education“, Lorie Konish, May 18, 2018