Palmer Rodak & Associates
Palmer Rodak & Associates
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How might divorce affect my child’s financial aid?

College tuition is rarely cheap in California or anywhere else, and funding your child’s education may be one of your biggest financial concerns. This may be particularly true if you are a single parent trying to pay your child’s way through school, in which case you may be pleased to know that there is some good news for you when it comes to your chances of obtaining financial aid.

Per Time, there are two primary financial aid forms used by today’s American colleges, and one of them may make it easier for you, as a divorcee, to secure financial aid for your child. Known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the form tracks the finances of the parent who has primary custody of the student, but it does not take into account the income of the non-custodial parent. For example, if your child lives with you more than half the time, you must only submit your personal income when seeking aid, regardless of how much the other, non-custodial parent may make.

An exception to this may be if you remarry. If the student has a stepparent, that stepparent’s income, too, will be considered when determining financial aid amounts. It is also important to note that any income you receive from your child’s non-custodial parent as child support will be considered part of your income and will therefore factor in to how much you may ultimately receive.

The second, less common financial aid form is called the CSS Profile, and it differs from the FAFSA in that it requires that you submit income information from both parents, regardless of who primarily houses the child. Even with the CSS Profile, however, you may benefit somewhat after your divorce. This is because while this method considers income from both parents, it also takes into account the costs associated with financing two separate homes.

This information about financial aid is meant to be educational, but it should not be considered legal advice. 

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Palmer Rodak & Associates
Certified Family Law Specialists State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

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