When two people who share children get a divorce, they may think of how to handle the current needs of those children. This includes where the child will live, who will pay for basic necessities and how to cover any additional expenses. What divorcing parents may neglect to discuss is how they will cover their child’s college tuition. As costs continue to rise, it may be important to save for the child’s future education and that can be difficult for two people who may have a contentious relationship. Fortunately, experts have advice for parents here in Connecticut and elsewhere on handling college tuition during or after divorce.

As with almost any issue in divorce, having a frank conversation with one’s ex may be the best way to start. Experts say that scheduling it can go a long way toward making it easier on both parties. It may be a good idea to involve a professional third party, such as a financial planner or attorney, who can help both parents focus on the topic. When decisions are made about who will cover certain expenses, it is best to get the agreement in writing so everyone is on the same page.

If the child may need financial aid to attend college, filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid each year can help families understand their options. For those who started a 529 plan, or college savings plan, for their child at any time, if one ex-spouse retains control, it might be a good idea for the other ex to start his or her own fund. Above all, experts say that parents need to be honest with their children about what contribution they can make to their education.

A child going off to college can be both an exciting and stressful time. The stress may be exacerbated by trying to navigate paying the expenses in relation to a divorce agreement. It may be for the best to work with an experienced divorce attorney here in Connecticut who can help create or modify an existing divorce agreement that takes college expenses into account.