How does divorce affect college financial aid?

I received an email this week from a divorced mom in San Diego who was confused about which parent should file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which is required to get a college loans. Her confusion was understandable because the financial aid rules are different for divorced families seeking help to send their children to college.

In this case, the dad claimed the teenager on his taxes, but the boy lived with the mother 95 percent of the time. Sometimes children of divorced families will benefit from special rules, and other times their chances for financial aid will be hurt.

Piggy Bank for College

Here are six things that you need to know about divorce and financial aid:
1.Who the child lives with matters. The parent who completes the FAFSA should be the one who has taken care of the child for most of the year. So if the child lives with the dad for seven months and the mom for five months, the mom’s income will be irrelevant for financial aid purposes. The dad would complete the FAFSA and only include his income.

To illustrate how this can be a boon for some families, let’s assume that the mother is a physician making $200,000 a year and the father is a school teacher making $50,000. If the child lived with the dad most of the year, he would declare his father’s lower income, and his mom’s large salary wouldn’t figure in the aid application.

Click here to continue reading this article from CBS news by Lynn O’Shaughnessy.

O’Shaughnessy, Lynn. (2013). How does divorce affect college financial aid. CBSnews.com. Retrieved on November 7, 2013, from http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-500395_162-57597575/how-does-divorce-affect-college-financial-aid/

Article Writen by: Divorce Without War November 7th, 2013

Posted In: Children and Drivorce, Divorce

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