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How divorce can affect sending kids to college

Several parents in Maryland work hard to send their children to college. However, those very same parents might not plan for unexpected events, such as the death of either spouse or the divorce of both parents. Yet, this is surprising given how many married couples end up going to divorce court: As a matter of fact, it is estimated that four out of ten marriages get dissolved at some point.

Divorce can affect the parents' plan to send their children to college in many ways. For one thing, after a divorce, parents have to pay for two households with the same income they had before the divorce. Additionally, courts force non-custodial parents to pay child and spousal support, which can interfere with their plans to save for higher education. Family expenses take precedence over other plans the parents might have had.

Furthermore, some states mandate that a parent is responsible for sending their child to college, others don't share that perspective. The courts cannot force a parent to send a child to college if they can't financially afford to, and even if parents can afford it, no court can force a parent to send their children to graduate school.

Fortunately, parents who dream of sending their children to college have a good chance of achieving that if they invest in a 529 plan, which allows money to accumulate tax-free. What's more, when parents withdraw their money from a 529 plan, they do not have to pay taxes for it so long as it used for educational purposes.

Even though parents who choose to divorce may find it harder to send their children to college, it is still doable if the parents had already planned for it. Ergo, parents might find it beneficial to reach out to an experienced lawyer who can lay out their child custody and support options.

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