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Who pays for college post-divorce?

Children often complicate the divorce process in Pennsylvania. Short-term concerns, such as custody agreements, paired with longer-term planning, such as preparing for a college education, often require attention and care. 

In terms of college costs, you may also disagree with your spouse on some points. Education of children in general is often a sticking point in divorces, even more so when large amounts of money are involved. However, understanding your obligations as a divorced parent and the various financial options you have available could make the process easier. 

The issue concerns child support laws. Pennsylvania laws differ from those of certain neighboring states in that courts do not have the power to order divorced parents to pay for college expenses. However, you could potentially work out an agreement with your spouse has to how your child can access college funds and who would contribute to those funds. 

Another of the common issues with divorced couples and college education is not legal, but rather financial. That is, how the money would be owned or invested is sometimes of equal concern as who would supply it. 

As explained in Barron’s, there are often various college funding options available. These include federal student loans, grants and 529 savings accounts. However, it is important to realize that divorce could potentially complicate the situation. Standard investing advice may not be as appropriate for a divorced couple as it is for married parents. 

Like many issues in divorce, planning for college education can be complicated. It is important to take each situation on the case-by-case basis. Please do not use this article as legal advice. It is only intended as general information. 

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