Graduation fun and festivities are in full swing. With the turn of a tassel comes the possibility of your child pursuing a college degree, which can be financially daunting. Students often rely on financial aid to support them through college. Over 44 million Americans incur student loan debt. Even more troublesome, a combined total of over $1.48 trillion is owed in student loan debt. If you are going through a separation or a divorce, keep these points in mind when your child applies for financial aid assistance:
- Different colleges award more substantial financial aid packages than others.
- When applying for financial aid, Federal Student Aid only requires the custodial parent’s financial information and does not take into consideration the non-custodial parent.
- For student aid purposes, a custodial parent is the parent the student has lived with for the majority of time during the 12 months preceding the date of the student’s application.
- 50/50 custody is not a determinative factor. Whomever the student lived with the most over the 12-month period is sufficient for federal student aid purposes.
- If you plan to remarry while your child is in college, the stepparent’s financial information will be required for the following year’s application for financial aid.
- If your ongoing divorce is not yet official, talk to a CPA about filing your tax return as single because it may be beneficial. In a recent Money Magazine article, CPA and college financial aid advisor, Paula Bishop, reports that students whose parents have been separated for at least six months will, in many cases, be in line for a more generous financial aid package.
- The application for student aid must include child support and/or alimony received from the non-custodial parent.
At Hatcher Law Group, we are dedicated to providing you with exceptional legal services. Our attorneys work diligently to simplify the complexities of each case, alleviating unnecessary stress and ensuring each client’s experience is as seamless as possible. Schedule a consultation with one of our family law attorneys today.