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Preserving a college fund after a marriage ends

A divorce in Maryland or any other state could have an impact on a child’s college education. In some cases, this is because a parent may be required to dedicate money to paying child and spousal support ahead of continuing to fund a son or daughter’s higher education. In other cases, the increased cost of running two households may make it more difficult to save for future educational expenses.

While not all parents will be required to pay for their child’s college tuition and related costs, some will be asked to. Typically, a parent will be asked to pay for the best possible education with whatever money is available to do so. In the 2017-2018 school year, the cost of a private four-year school was $46,950. In that same year, the cost of going to a public school in the child’s home state was $$20,770.

To help with the cost of a college education, parents can contribute money to a 529 account. Any cash inside of the account grows tax-free and can be withdrawn tax-free assuming it is used for valid educational expenses. Parents who have questions about how to pay for a child’s education can talk with a financial adviser. Taking this step could make it easier to create a plan that both parents can follow for the long-term.

The end of a marriage does not mean the end of taking care of a son or daughter. It may be a good idea to consult with an attorney regarding what a parent’s obligations are after a divorce. An attorney may help draft a divorce settlement that accounts for a child’s future expenses without creating an unnecessary hardship on a parent. A settlement may also account for any money already in a 529 or similar savings account.