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Who’s going to pay for college?

Whether your child is approaching high school graduation or just beginning kindergarten when you begin the divorce process in Michigan, college tuition is likely to be a cost you will want the other parent to help pay. If it is not included in your agreement, though, there is no guarantee that your child will have the benefit of both parents’ financial support.

According to iGrad.com, the amount of federal aid your child may qualify for will depend primarily on the income of the custodial parent, as this person will be responsible for filling out that paperwork. So, this potential source of assistance is something important for you and your spouse to think about while working on the custody agreement or modification.

In Michigan, marital property and liability is divided equitably rather than equally, which means that if you include college expenses in the agreement, you and your spouse may not each be assigned to pay half. To help reduce the contributions you may both be expected to provide, you and your spouse may want to discuss opening a 529 college savings account and contributing to it from the marital assets before they are divided in the divorce.

Incorporating the responsibilities into the decree ensures your child’s education will not be a victim of any residual conflict you and your spouse may have after the divorce. However, factors may arise in the years after the final court order that affect how much each parent will pay, such as the child’s choice of universities. Since this information is general in nature, it should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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Lorrie J. Zahodnic

"I will hold you up until you can stand on your own two feet."

Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C. has provided skilled and compassionate legal guidance to Michiganders in family law matters for over 20 years.

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