When a divorce involves tension and tumultuous interactions, it is not
surprising that one spouse or another is worried about money that has
been set aside for a specific purpose, specifically college tuition savings.
If you and your spouse set up a college fund that could be jeopardized
in the divorce, there are steps you can take to protect the money. Setting
up a plan early in the divorce process can help keep that money out of
negotiations and, subsequently, safe from misuse. Our
divorce attorney at R. Gregory Colvin, LLC can help you determine the best plan of action
to keep your child’s savings safe and ensure it keeps growing.
What Can You Do?
There are several factors to consider and discuss as early as possible
in your divorce process. These include:
- If you are the parent in charge of your child’s college fund and
your name is on the account, you can handle the future transactions. The
first step in protecting your child’s account is to freeze it. This
can prohibit withdrawals and deposits but does not affect growth potential.
- If the account is a joint account, you may want to discuss splitting it
into two separate accounts, but, keep in mind, this may make it easier
for the funds to diminish.
If your savings are not already in a Florida 529 Plan, this is the time
to designate it as such. This plan allows one or both parents to deposit
money and can even be split into two accounts so each parent can deposit
as they choose without affecting the other’s account. If a withdrawal
is made, there will be a tax penalty, as this is a plan designated as
educational savings only.
Florida’s Pre-Paid Tuition is another structured option that allows parents to save.
- If the option for a 529 account is too flexible, and your concern persists
about misuse of the funds, you can choose to put the money into a trust
and elect a trustee. It is a slightly more complicated process, but it
will further protect your child’s college savings.
You can also elect to consider the savings as non-marital property so it
is not part of the negotiations of your divorce. Our attorney can help
you decide what route is safest to take, whether it is freezing the account,
splitting it or putting it into a trust.
Our Orlando Divorce Attorney Can Help
If you are concerned that your spouse has alternative plans for your child’s
college tuition savings, it is in your best interest to discuss fund protection
early in your divorce. Our divorce attorney can help you determine the
best steps for protecting the savings you amassed and what your options
are for including stipulations in your divorce proceedings. We understand
the importance of a set plan for your child’s future and we can
help you continue to grow the savings.
Contact our firm
to discuss your options for college fund protection. Call (407) 603-3460