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Figuring out who pays for the kids’ education after divorce

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2020 | Divorce

Just because you and your ex are divorced does not mean the two of you are not still your children’s parents. Usually, you each continue to have parental responsibilities that last until the kids turn 18 — whether they live with you or not.

This is known in Delaware family law as legal child custody. It’s different than physical child custody in that a child’s parents almost always retain legal custody even if one parent has sole physical custody and the other has visitation only. Legal custody refers to the right to make important decisions about the child’s upbringing, such as their education.

Planning your children’s education

Naturally, both your and your co-parent want your children to get the best education possible. But that can get expensive, especially if they go to private school. Many prestigious private school charge tuitions of $25,000 to $65,000 per year. However, there may be good reasons to send your kids to private school or keep them there if they already attend one.

Your divorce settlement should make it clear that both of you must agree on where your children go to school. In addition, you will work out a plan for paying K-12 education costs. You can agree to share these costs, or if one parent has a much higher income, they can take care of it.

Even if your kids are still young, now is the time to start planning for college. Just as with primary and high school, both parents have the right to approve where their children go for higher education. If you have begun saving for college, you can continue to do so by negotiating who will contribute. If you do not have one already, you and your ex might consider starting a 529 savings plan.

With careful planning and negotiations that keep your children’s best interests in mind, their education should continue without disruption.