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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

Divorce in Massachusetts may include college tuition decision

There are many issues that a couple must decide as they work to end their marriage in divorce in Massachusetts. Among the common decisions to be made in a divorce are the division of property, spousal support and child-related issues. For some the appointment of a parent that is responsible for the payment of a child's college tuition is among the negotiations that take place.

Some individuals in Massachusetts may be surprised to learn that the stipulations regarding financial aid for college tuition can be included in divorce negotiations. This is because for some financial aid applications, it is only the income for the custodial parent of a child that is considered when making awards for financial aid. This is a common occurrence when public colleges are involved.

However, some private institutions require that both the custodial and non-custodial parent disclose income on financial aid applications. In addition, if a custodial parent remarries before the child goes to college, the income of the new spouse must be disclosed to financial aid authorities. Because of the complicated rules surrounding the payment of college tuition, it can be an important discussion during divorce negotiations when parents seek to end their marriage.

Child-related issues can be among the most contentious when people in our state go through a divorce. Beyond child custody and support, parents must determine how to pay for other expenses, including college. These decisions can be difficult and it may do well for a person to seek to understand the rules surrounding financial aid applications as they enter into negotiations with a former spouse about who must pay.

Source: wealthmanagement.com, "The Ticking Time Bomb," Lynn O'Shaughnessy, Jan. 23, 2013

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