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There may be ways to help kids pay for college after a divorce

When a marriage ends, there are many plans that may need to be adjusted. If a couple has children who were hoping for a college degree, then they may be concerned that a divorce will disrupt those dreams. South Carolina residents may choose to consider other alternatives to support their children's aspirations.

A divorce is estimated to affect an estimated 40 percent of marriages in this country. While the vast majority of couples realize that most of their financial goals will need to be adjusted due to the fact that the assets that comfortably supported one household will now have to provide for two, they may not take college expenses into account at first. Though some state divorce laws require parents to fund a college education, the majority of them take the parents' financial needs into consideration.

The cost of a four-year degree can vary widely from an estimated $20,000 for a public college to more than $46,000 per year for a private institution. At this cost, paying for a child's education can become challenging. There are ways to set money aside, including through the use of various programs that are structured to be tax-free as long as the money is used for valid expenses. Many couples may have invested in a 529 plan, which can be monitored by both parents if they so choose.

Divorcing couples may benefit from the advice provided by a financial professional who can help ensure that college education can still be a part of future plans in spite of the divorce. South Carolina residents who are concerned about how their dissolution will impact their future financial well-being may be best served from consulting with a family law attorney. Individuals who have a thorough understanding of their needs going forward may be in the best position to ensure that a settlement agreement will best meet those needs.

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

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