When parents in North Carolina divorce, the decision to end their marriage can have a significant effect on their finances. One of the biggest financial expenditures that can accompany raising children is college or university tuition, especially with the rising cost of college education in the United States. According to the College Board, tuition goes up by around 3 percent every year, leading to a substantial increase over time. The numbers tell the story: it costs over $46,000 each year on average to attend a private four-year university and over $20,000 annually for a public university.
Parents who are married also often struggle to pay for tuition, and many students attend with a mixture of scholarships, grants, student loans and other financial aid in addition to parental support. However, parents often develop a plan for how they will save for their kids’ higher education. Divorce can have a major financial impact on all areas of life, and this can include disrupting plans to pay for university. The law mandates that expenses like child support for kids under 18 or spousal support take priority. This is one reason why many parents may want to include a plan to pay for college as part of the divorce agreement.
Life is generally more expensive after divorce, simply because it takes more money to pay for two households than one. Parents may need to consider new options for managing college costs after divorce. In addition, older teens with a better understanding of finances can work to plan for the future more effectively.
Divorce can present a number of financial challenges, of which university tuition is only one. A family law attorney might work with a divorcing spouse to work for a fair agreement on a range of divorce legal matters, including spousal support and property division.