When a divorce couple sends a child to college, confusion can arise as to what the rules are for financial aid. To get loans to pay for a college education the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will need to be filed. Which parent should do this? There are a number of things that will need to be taken into consideration in these cases. Speaking with a Pennsylvania no fault divorce attorney can be a valuable step in these matters to make sure that the correct process is followed. Divorce can be a complex situation but working with a professional can provide greater clarity and understanding.
There are a number of things that you should be aware of or concerned with when seeking financial aid for a child of divorced parents. First, is who the child lives with or who they spend more of their time with if the custody is divided. The time period that should be accounted for is the year prior to the day the FAFSA is signed. The FAFSA should be done by the parent who either has full custody or takes care of the child for the majority of the time. For a child who spends their time equally between the two, the FAFSA should then be completed by a parent that spends more money on the care of the child.
Wondering if you should take into account who claims the child on their tax return? This does not influence the situation so it will not need to be considered. What does matter though is if a custodial parent gets remarried. The assets and income of the individual that they marry will now need to be reported on the FAFSA in addition to the custodial parent's income and assets. In addition to considering how divorce will influence the FAFSA, take into account other forms of going about financial aid including the CSS/financial Aid PROFILE. For further guidance in these matters, get in touch with our office.