For many children and young adults in Texas, college is their first real-life goal. Maybe your child wants to attend a specific institution of higher education, or perhaps they simply dream of pursuing a degree in a particularly competitive field, like architecture.
You and your spouse likely understand that there will be a lot of sacrifices that you need to make between now and when your children finish their post-secondary educations. Unfortunately, disruptions to your family life could potentially derail your child’s college plans.
There are two significant ways in which your divorce could impact your child’s chances of attending college as they have always planned.
Their grades may slip after your divorce
It is very common for even the best-adjusted young adults to struggle with the news that their parents will soon divorce. It’s common for young people to experience depression after learning about an upcoming divorce and for them to withdraw from activities they previously enjoyed. They may also start to struggle at school or stop trying at all in their classes. Some of them lash out far more than that, having major disciplinary issues.
You and your ex can minimize the risk of your child hurting their own college dreams by minimizing how much conflict the children witness, keeping them out of your disagreements with one another and giving them the support they need throughout the divorce. Being open to talking with them about their feelings can help, as can getting them into a therapist’s office or a support group for children with divorcing parents.
Paying for college may become harder to accomplish
You and your ex will have less disposable income to contribute toward your children’s education after your divorce even if both of you retain the same jobs you have always had. You will now need to cover the costs of maintaining two separate households with that same income, which will leave less for either of you to set aside for college.
Unless you agree to a child support arrangement that involves payments through the college years, it is highly unlikely that the Texas courts would force one parent to pay child support throughout college enrollment, let alone pass on half of the college expenses to them.
You and your ex may need to have a difficult conversation about how you will support your children’s academic pursuits early in your divorce so that both of you can keep your priorities straight. Identifying the issues with your children that will affect your custody arrangements and household finances will make the post-divorce transition easier for your family.