2 ways a divorce can affect a child’s college ambitions

2 ways a divorce can affect a child’s college ambitions

On Behalf of | Mar 9, 2023 | Divorce

For young adults who are hoping to enter certain professions, a college degree is the basic standard for entry-level education. They will need a four-year degree or possibly a graduate degree to secure a license in their chosen profession and obtain a good job with competitive pay.

Parents often start putting money aside for college when a child is a baby, as tuition increases in recent years have made college expenses particularly expensive. They may redouble those efforts when a child announces an educated profession, like medicine or engineering, as their career goal.

Unfortunately, a young adult’s ambitions could end up derailed by their parents’ divorce. Someone who is considering a divorce filing in Texas should contemplate how the end of their marriage might impact their children’s educational ambitions. Why would a divorce decrease the likelihood of a child getting a college degree?

1. The financial impact of divorce

Divorce is very expensive, and parents often spend tens of thousands of dollars on the process. While those funds may not come out of someone’s college savings, those costs could very well prevent people from contributing to an account for several years.

Additionally, the parents living separately will mean more demands on the same amount of parental income, and the income of both parents will influence what financial aid the young adult can receive. To add insult to injury, Texas will not impose child support requirements for college tuition, which means that parents either need to agree on how to cover college costs or risk being unable to do so.

2. The psychological impact of divorce

Middle schoolers and teenagers often have profoundly negative reactions to the divorce of their parents. They may resent the change in their family circumstances or sometimes blame themselves. Often, parental divorce comes with a drop in academic performance and an uptick in behavioral issues, both of which could affect a child’s eligibility for enrollment at certain schools or financial aid.

Parents who are considering divorce when their children have major career ambitions need to be ready to provide the financial and emotional support that the children require so that the divorce will not affect their future opportunities. Couples facing complicated divorces often need to address challenging family matters, including the college education of the children in the family. Seeking legal guidance can help families to navigate these situations successfully.