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Will your divorce affect your adult child’s college enrollment?

| Nov 25, 2020 | Divorce |

Marriage is meant to be a lifetime commitment, but not all couples can happily stay together indefinitely. If you and your spouse are unhappy with one another or if your spouse has been unfaithful, you may intend to divorce as soon as you fulfill your obligations to your children.

Staying together until your children are legal adults is a common goal for those trying to stick it out for the kids. However, getting divorced while your children attend college could also cause substantial issues for the very people you wanted to protect by delaying your divorce.

Your college students may go through intense emotional responses

Many young adults fail to finish college because they lose motivation part way through the process. They may start to focus on a career or relationship instead of grades, or they might go through an emotionally tumultuous time that affects their attendance and overall GPA to a point where they simply can’t justify staying enrolled.

Even when a child reaches college age, they will likely have intense emotional responses to their parents getting divorced. Depression is a common response, and it could mean that your child starts failing to take care of themselves, go to class or secure the grades they need for their intended profession.

There could be financial consequences that you can’t control

Divorce is expensive financially and often devastating emotionally. Even if your spouse has previously committed themselves to helping your kids attain a college degree, they may become so resentful of the costs of both divorce and their support obligations that they refuse to make voluntary contributions toward college costs.

Handling college expenses fairly is something you will likely need to address carefully in your divorce negotiations, as the Minnesota family courts are unlikely to order child support for college expenses. You can reach a mutual agreement to share those costs, but the court likely won’t force your ex to help pay for college if they really dig in their heels and refuse.

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