A parent’s job does not end once a child turns 18. However, things like child custody and support agreements often end around this age in North Carolina. College might be the time when a child needs his or her parents’ support more than ever though — especially financially. This is why parents who are going through a divorce may want to discuss how they plan to pay for college before the process is over.
While tuition might be the primary cost associated with college, there are also textbooks, supplies, housing costs, transportation, meal plans and more. Parents should discuss whether they will simply provide support for tuition or help out with other costs as well. Tuition can be quite steep too, so parents should also consider whether they will set a cap on how much they will each contribute.
Saving ahead for college can also be quite helpful. A 529 savings plan is an account that is specifically used for college expenses and can grow tax free, making it a good option for divorced parents. If the child who is named as the beneficiary does not go to college or does not use all of the funds, parents can change the beneficiary to a different child or possibly a different family member.
For many North Carolina families, college is one of the largest child related expenses to worry about. Divorce does not have to derail any parent’s dream of sending their child to college. It is easy to see why some parents feel like that though, especially since there are so many other financial issues to address during the process. A helpful approach can be speaking with a knowledgeable attorney who can highlight areas of importance to focus on during this process.