Parental responsibilities include college in Colorado divorces

When parents make the decision to divorce, they know they will have to make decisions on custody and visitation for their young children. What some parents here in Colorado may not think of is how they will determine who pays for certain expenses in their children's futures. For instance, they may not consider who will pay for their college educations and how that will be accomplished. Experts have recommendations on how to navigate this and determine the parental responsibilities of each person involved.

As with any issue surrounding children in a custody agreement, professionals advise putting everything in writing. If children are young and will not attend college for several years, that doesn't mean that decisions cannot be made in the present. Those choices can certainly be changed as the lives of everyone involved will inevitably change, but it will help families to have a basic agreement. This can even include determinations on which parent's income will be listed on a financial aid form if a child needs to apply for assistance to attend college.

Experts say to ensure that any savings that currently exist are specifically designated as funding for college education. This can be done by putting the money into a 529 plan which is a special savings account for college that cannot be taxed. This will keep the money from being considered an asset in the divorce.

Families who are divorcing here in Colorado can avoid confusion in the future by making plans in the present. It may seem as though secondary education for young children is a long time away, but even when couples stay together, it is never too soon to plan for what is to come. Families may wish to research their options as they begin making decisions on each ex-spouse's parental responsibilities. The bottom line is that the children's needs will be met and everyone will be able to move forward with their new lives.

Source:, Things Divorced Parents Need to Know About College, No author, Feb. 28, 2014

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