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Florida parents should consider college when negotiating divorce

This is the time of year when many families are turning their attention to college plans. For many Florida families, sending a child to college is an exciting experience, yet can also be very stressful. Figuring out how to pay for a college education can be a challenge, especially for parents who are planning for or are going through a divorce.

One year at a private nonprofit college can run an average of $46,950. When a Florida couple is moving from one household to two, determining how to cover those costs can be difficult. If the matter goes before a court, the outcome is far from certain. Some judges will require parents to contribute to a college education, while others will not address the matter unless it is specifically discussed in an existing divorce agreement.

The easiest solution is for parents to establish a 529 plan to save money for a child's education. That eliminates the need to negotiate which parent should pay for tuition, housing and other expenses. Unfortunately, however, parents without a 529 plan or with a plan that does not hold sufficient funds will still need to negotiate how to handle college expenses.

For many in Florida, divorce can alter their approach toward financing a child's education. Working with a financial planner is a great way to determine how much money can be dedicated toward college expenses. In certain cases, kids may need to borrow money to cover a portion of their educational expenses, or reconsider attending a less expensive college.

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

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