The older your kids get, the more likely it is that you’re becoming more nervous about how you’re going to pay for their college, especially if you haven’t been saving along the way. Parents who are facing a divorce are likely to face even more uncertainty about how to get their kids through school.

If you don’t have a contingency plan in place for what happens if you get divorced or something happens to your spouse, then you’re not alone.

Researchers with TD Ameritrade found that although 40 percent of all married couples get divorced, only about 33 percent of them have a financial contingency plan in place if they were to pass away or their marriage were to end. This means that a lot of parents would struggle to pay their kids’ higher education fees if they had to start paying them today.

Recent research performed by the College Board shows that during the 2017-2018 school year, the tuition for public, four-year colleges averaged $20,770. It was $46,950 for private schools. Costs are steadily increasing 3 percent each year.

When Florida households are split by divorce, there are fewer financial resources to go around. The parent with the larger salary may be so focused on paying spousal or child support that they’re unable to put much into a college fund.

In some jurisdictions, family law judges may order a parent to pay for the entirety of their child’s college expenses. While this doesn’t mean that they’ll have to pay for whatever school that their child gets into, it can still be costly.

Many Kissimmee divorced parents are often forced to encourage their kids to take out student loans or to apply for scholarships or grants to cover their education. Divorcing parents may find it helpful to negotiate their participation in a 529 college savings plan as part of their divorce settlement as well as a way to avoid having to sell the marital home to pay for their schooling.

College savings accounts such as a 529 plan are often in one parent’s name alone. This is why it’s important that the money allocated for your child’s future education is adequately defined in your divorce settlement. Divorcing parents who need help in brokering a deal regarding payment for their kids’ college education should consult with an attorney to guide them in dividing up marital assets.