There are many financial strains individuals will have to overcome as they go through a divorce. This is especially true for parents who are helping pay for their kids’ college education through the use of financial aid.
The following are a few tips to keep in mind as you navigate the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process, which can become even more confusing when you are going through a divorce (or have already completed the process).
“Custody” and “parent” may take on different meanings as you work through FAFSA. “Custody” in this situation refers to which parent the student lived with more often in the last 365 days. If the student spent an equal amount of time with each parent, an additional test determines which household provided the student with more financial support during that time. Additionally, with Parent A being the custodial parent, Parent B is not necessarily the student’s other natural parent. It could be the spouse of Parent A (the student’s stepparent).
If you share financial information for both natural parents and step parents, you could end up over-reporting income, which means the student might not get as much financial aid as he or she otherwise could. Sharing too much financial information makes it look like you have more money than you actually do.
For students, it is important to understand that parents are not required to pay for their children’s college education. Therefore, there is also no requirement that the spouse who earns more be the one who pays for college. It’s important to talk about these arrangements in detail if either parent will be assisting with college expenses.
Electronic Data During the Divorce Process
In our modern world, most people are intensely connected to the internet, social media and mobile devices. This has had an impact on family law, as increasing numbers of divorce cases involved attorneys reviewing electronic communications between the parties. So how can you deal with your electronic data to make sure it does not compromise your ability to achieve the outcome you desire in your divorce?
Depending on what you have posted or shared, damage control might be difficult. If you delete pictures, text messages and other posts in mass quantities, it could reflect poorly on you in the divorce proceedings. However, the following are some strategies you might use:
Deactivate your Facebook profile — or at least heavily restrict your usage. This goes for other social networks, as well. Never post about your divorce or anything that could possibly come back to haunt you later. You do not want your spouse to be able to access your account, so you should make any security changes necessary to protect yourself. This starts with changing your password.
This new email address can be your primary personal inbox from this point forward. You may set up a mechanism to forward messages from your old account to your new one so that you don’t lose any messages unintentionally.
You might benefit from turning off location tracking on your device or preventing it from syncing with any other devices to which your spouse has access. This will help ensure your data remains private.
Divorce Attorney Free Consultation
If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506
Financial Planning After Divorce