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Can Your Child Really Get More College Financial Aid Because of Divorce?

college graduate

At colleges and universities across the country, the start of the 2017-18 academic year is here. When it comes to applying for financial aid, divorce can be a benefit.

We’ll talk about it in this issue.

** Editor’s note: Much of the information in this article was originally published in TIME magazine. **

How can I or my child get more financial aid because of divorce?

College students with parents who have divorced or have been separated for at least 6 months could very easily be positioned for financial aid packages that are more generous than what their peers would receive.

In most instances, you will be filling out one of two of the major financial aid forms: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile.

  • FAFSA
    This form requires financial details from the custodial parent (the one with whom the child lives with for more than 50% of the time) only. Because financial particulars from a stepparent will be included as well, it could be to your benefit to hold off getting remarried until the student’s junior year of college. To qualify for the most generous financial aid package, it’s in the best interest of the student to live with the parent who makes the least amount of money.
  • CSS Profile
    Colleges and universities that rely upon the CSS are viewed by many to be much more generous with their financial aid packages than the ones that require just the FAFSA. While most CSS schools will require financial information from both parents regardless of the living arrangements, they will take into consideration the additional cost of maintaining two households.

As the non-custodial parent, will I have be legally obligated to pay for my child’s college education?

This is a topic we’ve discussed before, and it really depends on where you live because each state has its own rules.

Here in California, the requirement to pay child support generally ends when the child reaches their 18th birthday. The support may be continued while the child is a full-time high school student until they reach their 19th birthday or complete the 12th grade – whichever comes first.

For Child Support and Other Divorce-Related Issues, Let the Men’s Legal Center Fight for Your Rights

The requirements for paying alimony and child support can quickly turn into crippling financial debt.

If you’re thinking of divorce or have already been served with papers, it’s imperative that you have expert legal representation fighting for your rights.

Get in touch with the Men’s Legal Center by calling 866-636-7534 or sending an email.