Everyone knows that financial challenges arise with divorce. The old adage that two can live more cheaply than one applies. As a married couple, you perhaps had a plan for sending your children to college. However, it’s likely that plan is in flux now that you’re making transitions to a post-divorce lifestyle.

The good news is that help is available. US News published an article that gives tips on how divorced parents can pay for kids’ college educations. Financial aid is available, but how you fill out your application is vital for securing the financial aid. Once again, you find yourself in a position of filling out forms and navigating an unfamiliar process. There are ways not to apply because they a present a false picture and result in aid denial. When you remarry, the situation can even be more complicated because often each parent brings children from a previous marriage.

financial aid for students of divorced parents

First of all, it’s important to understand the terms as they are being used in the application.

For example, the article points out that “custody” and “parent” have new meanings in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). When asking who is the custodial parent, “custody” refers to which parent the child lived with most during the past 365 days. If the time was split equally, then the household that provided the most financial support during the past year is the “custodian.”

Who you fill in as the second parent is different in meaning too. You might think that it’s your ex-spouse, but if you remarried then it’s not your ex. It’s your current spouse. In fact, whether married or not, the household that is providing for the child is what the FAFSA considers as the parent and custodian. Even if you’re not married, it may be your current partner, if he or she is providing income towards the care of the child.

The article covers other tips to guide you in applying for college financial aid and is well worth the read.

At C.E. Borman & Associates, we know divorce is hard and work to offer you guidance that makes life go smoother before, during and after divorce.