Divorce can severely complicate the chances of a child getting financial aid in college education, and parental disputes regarding financial responsibilities are very common. Worse still, not many parents consider splitting their children’s college responsibility at the time of divorce, more so if their children are still young at the time.
The guidelines below will help you know how best to prepare Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for your child; how to include a college support plan for your children in a divorce agreement.
How FAFSA Works
If you have a child who needs college financial aid, you can freely apply for aid on the FAFSA site. For eligibility to be determined, both parents need to report the size of their household income, and number of children studying in college.
The government uses these details to determine whether the child’s parents are capable of sponsoring their child through college or not, and the applicant gets financial aid options based on the evaluation.
However, a divorce makes filling the FAFSA form quite complicated. It becomes difficult to determine the parent’s assets or income that ought to be provided, and under what instances both parents information is needed other than just that of the child’s custodial parent.
Who Does FAFSA Deem as a Custodial Parent?
According to FAFSA, a custodial parent is who has lived with the child longer for the last 12 months. If both parents have lived with their child equally for the last 12 months, the custodial becomes the parent who has offered the most financial support to the child during that period.
Only the custodial parent is needed to report required information and income to FAFSA unless he or she has remarried.
Information That the Custodial Parent Needs To Include When Filling In For FAFSA
After the custodial parent is identified, the following details need to be filled out during the application.
- Social security number of the child
- Both parent’s social security number
- The driving license of the child
- Custodial parent’s cash and liquid assets in business income, investments, and accounts
- Information about divorce
- Untaxed income information such as child support the custodial parent could have received
- Details on any alimony payments
How Divorce Meditation Will Help In Raising the College Tuition for Your Child
As a divorcing parent, the easiest way out is determining in advance the much that each parent will contribute to the children’s college fee. In this case, it is imperative to seek a lawyer for assistance in including a college support plan on the divorce settlement. An experienced mediator will assist you together with your spouse in negotiating a cost allocation that works well for both parties, considering all unique situations. Learn more about the divorce mediation process now.