Parents in El Paso often worry about how best to fund their children's higher education. The cost of a university education in the United States is high and rises on a continuous basis. Statistics indicate that the average annual cost of attendance, including tuition, fees, room and board, at a four-year university is $46,950; the average annual cost for an in-state public university remains costly at $20,700. These figures are not stable, and the College Board estimates that expenses continue to rise on a 3 percent basis every year. The high cost of attendance underlines the importance of financial planning for educational expenses.
Of course, a parental divorce can throw a wrench into ongoing plans to save for higher education. During the divorce, marital assets will be split, and parents will need to run two households on the same incomes that previously ran one home. The process itself can be costly, involving the division of retirement funds and other investments such as real estate. Family court orders generally prioritize child support for minor children as well as spousal support over other types of ongoing expenses, including higher education costs.
Parents can include a plan for higher education as part of their divorce negotiations. Even when divorcing parents are certain that they want their personal relationship to come to an end, they may recognize the importance of continuing their financial planning to support their children's future. By considering the issue during financial discussions leading to the divorce settlement, parents can create a plan to help their children save for university.
Financial matters during divorce negotiations can be complex and costly, especially when family businesses, investment accounts and other assets are involved. A family law attorney may help a divorcing spouse represent their interests in property division, child custody and other key matters.