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Baltimore County Family Law Attorney Blog

Baltimore & Towson Lawyer Discusses Divorce and College Expenses

Written by Amar Weisman » June 12, 2013 »

According to a recent article in U.S. News and World Report, dealing with your children’s current or future college expenses is an essential part of your divorce, even well after your divorce is final. While some divorcing parents are able to work out the funding of their children’s college educations on their own, it is often helpful for the parties to work out a mutually acceptable agreement, particularly if a child’s college education will soon become a reality. From the experience of your Baltimore divorce lawyer, it almost always benefits the children to have firm financial plans in place to fund their educational needs, particularly if the parents will substantially assist with the costs.

The two most common decisions that arise in Baltimore County Divorce cases: 

  • Disposition of 529 College Savings Plans. Some couples may have already begun saving for their children’s education through a savings account or a 529 plan, which is an account where funds are restricted to be used only toward a specific child’s college education. Your Baltimore Divorce Lawyer warns that it then becomes necessary during Divorce proceedings to determine how to divide or otherwise use the proceeds in the savings account. For instance, the parties may elect to freeze the plan until it is used for the child’s education at a later date. Thus, both parties would be prevented from using the funds for another child or another unrelated purpose. This decision will protect and preserve the funds that already have been saved for the child’s education. Investment decisions then can be decided mutually by the parties, or the account funds can be split between the parties, so that each parent makes his or her own decisions regarding how aggressively or conservatively to save.
  • To what extent, if at all, the parties will be responsible for their children’s educational needs. In many cases, the parties will agree upon a certain percentage of education funds for which they will be responsible, which may or may not be based on their respective incomes. The child may also be responsible for bearing a portion of his or her educational costs including at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Alternately, the parties can agree to each save a certain amount toward their children’s education on an annual basis, with each parent making investment decisions as needed.

In making these important decisions, your Baltimore Divorce Lawyer notes, it is important to remember that it is nearly impossible to properly calculate the costs of a child’s educational needs until college is imminent. A child may win scholarships and qualify for certain government educational assistance. Tuition rates may vary over time, and a child may gain entry to a more expensive or less expensive school. Therefore, parents should keep their options open and realize that they may have to adjust their contributions as circumstances develop.

Navigating decisions about future college decisions is much easier when you have the advice of an experienced Baltimore divorce lawyer on your side. Contact our office today for a consultation, so that we can provide you with the legal counsel that you will need in this situation.

Call (410) 321-4994 For a Free Consultation 

Call The Law Offices of Amar S. Weisman at (410) 321-4994 to schedule a Free ConsultationThe Purpose of the consultation is to determine whether you want to retain this law firm as your Baltimore County & Harford County Family Lawyer. If you do wish to proceed, then you must pay a retainer. See Our Policy on Fees and Costs. The family firm is located next to The Circuit Court for Baltimore County, at 1018 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson, MD 21204.