Making The Complex

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Prioritizing a child’s education during divorce

Making educational decisions can be difficult, especially when parents have to weigh the cost of private versus public education. These decisions can be even more difficult after a divorce. Rather than simply leave things up to chance, it may be in a couple’s best interests to discuss a child’s education as they are going through the divorce process.

There are many excellent public schools in Louisiana, but some children flourish academically in a private setting. The cost can be a hurdle, as private schools offering K-12 education may cost anywhere from $25,000 to $65,000 per year. Divorcing parents who want to make sure their child continues to thrive in a stable school environment should not delay in addressing how they will divide tuition payments. Parents should discuss school costs even if their child is in a public school setting because of additional costs such as:

  • Supplies
  • Field trips
  • Lunches
  • Fundraisers

Education usually does not end after high school graduation, either. With the average cost of a public university for the 2018-2019 school year coming in at $10,230 — and $36,890 for private — parents may not want to wait until the first bill comes in to start discussing financial responsibility. Instead, parents can go ahead and establish a 529 college savings account, agree on contributions and start saving for their child’s future during divorce.

Providing stability during difficult times is not easy, but it is a parent’s responsibility. Making sure that a child still has access to his or her school or other educational options in Louisiana is just one way of doing that. Other ways of providing stability — such as a regular schedule — can be addressed in the child custody agreement or during other parts of divorce.


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