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Planning for education despite post-divorce finances

When a couple in Virginia decides to divorce, they may be most concerned about the effects of the separation on their children. These soon-to-be exes need to hammer out a parenting plan as well as the details of child custody and visitation. Many parents may work hard to protect their kids from emotional harm by avoiding negative talk about the other parent or working to co-parent positively together. Still, the financial effects of divorce are often some of the most significant, and the same is true when it comes to the children's education.

Many divorcing parents may want to include an agreement for future educational expenses as part of their divorce settlement. Even so, total family income tends to decline after a divorce, according to research. One study found that these negative financial effects may make children less likely to attend college after divorce. The effect was particularly pronounced for white children, often because they started out from an initially more economically privileged position. In some cases, the financial problems are less the effect of the separation than one of the reasons for divorce. For example, a husband having an unstable job is one of the major risk factors for divorce.

Therefore, divorce itself may be less a cause for financial problems than another symptom of financial instability. In other cases, former stay-at-home parents have a difficult time adjusting to financial management after a divorce. They may also be unable to make up for their salary losses due to years outside the workforce.

The financial aspects of divorce can have long-term consequences for everyone in the family, even after other issues have long since been sorted out. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing spouse to negotiate a settlement that addresses key issues, including property division, child support and plans for future education.

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