educational expenses

Property division now; division of college tuition bills later

Children from divorced parents face a number of challenges when their parents split. In fact, in addition to property division, most divorcing couples in Massachusetts spend time working out issues concerning their children. How custody will be divided, what child support is appropriate, even where the kids will spend holidays. However, many divorcing parents neglect to plan for their kids’ college educations, which can lead to frustration, argument and disappointment down the road. The US News and World Report cites the cost of a college education as $35,000 and above at a private school, and $20,000 or above at a public school. And those are current numbers; kids who are young will likely face higher costs when they are ready to start college. The cost of a college education is difficult for most families to manage, and when the parents are divorced, some students find themselves unable to attend at all. In one unusual case, a college student sued her father when he failed to pay her tuition. Suspecting her dad might not follow through on his promise to pay for college, she had him sign a contract specifying that he agree to pay for her education until she was 25, as long as she made a serious effort to apply for scholarships and financial aid. When he stopped paying during her senior year, she took him to court. The judge ruled in her favor, awarding her a $47,000 judgment plus attorney fees. The case made national headlines, but the

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