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College funding is separate from child support

For many Georgia parents, one of the most important aspects of their divorce process involves determining how their children will be provided for financially. These discussions often center around issues of child support. While child support is the primary means of providing for the needs of a child, there are many other considerations that fall outside of simple child support payments.

One example lies in finding a college education. While parents may not be legally obligated to provide the means for obtaining a college degree, many aspire to do so, and plan accordingly. However, divorce can throw a wrench in those plans, and parents are not always able to agree on a savings plan that will allow their kids to go to college.

The best way to avoid any confusion or conflict regarding college funding is to address the issue during the divorce process. Parents can come to an agreement about how to handle any existing college savings, such as freezing those accounts until they are needed. It is also possible to structure an agreement that lays out which party will be required to fund a certain percentage of the cost of a college education. In some cases, parents can have a great deal of flexibility in how and where they invest, as long as there is money being put away for the end goal of a college degree.

Divorce can be a stressful time, and there are a wide range of considerations to address. However, handling the issue of college funding at the same time that child support matters are addressed can save a great deal of contention and disappointment down the road, and can allow all parties to move forward with an understanding of what to expect from the future. In the best case scenario, divorced parents in Georgia may find themselves discussing what to do with any remaining funds once their child has completed their education, which is a much more pleasant item to negotiate.

Source: US News and World Report, “Discuss College Savings During Divorce Process,” Reyna Gobel, April 29, 2013