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MICHIGAN DIVORCE LAWYER

The Divorce Attorney Journal

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Divorce Attorney Journal

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Divorce and college financial aidYou’re divorced or preparing to divorce. Your child is preparing to go college. Money is inevitably on your mind. Your divorce will affect your child’s chances of receiving college financial aid, but whether your split works in your favor depends on many factors, including the school your child chooses, the type of financial aid forms that school requires, and who the custodial parent is. 

Here are some of the basics of college financial aid that every divorced parent needs to know:

  • FAFSA is your friend. Schools that use the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) ask only about the income of the custodial parent – meaning, the parent who a child lives with for more than half of the year. That parent’s income would be included on the aid application, but not the ex-spouse. If you’re not exactly rolling in it after your divorce, this need can work to your advantage where college financial aid is concerned.
  • Private schools have different rules. Private institutions typically ask for more information about finances, using other financial aid documents like the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE that offers nonfederal financial aid. Many of these schools (but not all of them) will want to know about the finances of both parents, custodial and non-custodial. There are some PROFILE schools that don’t ask about the income of the non-custodial parent, and this can sometimes enable their child to acquire more financial aid. School choice matters for many reasons, and financial aid is certainly one of them.
  • Look for schools that offer need-based aid. There are close to 50 colleges and universities in the United States that don’t award merit aid to wealthy students – they only dispense need-based financial aid. Depending on your financial situation, you have to determine if it’s better for your child to search for colleges that just use the FAFSA or if they should pursue PROFILE institutions that give merit scholarships to wealthy students.
  • Your home equity might or might not matter. FAFSA does not ask about home ownership. PROFILE schools do ask about home ownership and equity. If your divorce left you house-rich and cash-poor, you’ll be happy to know that your home equity is a non-issue for most state and private colleges and universities. There are, however, about 260 schools, mostly all private (the prestigious ones you’re thinking of), that are interested in the value of your house and treat your home equity differently.

After your Michigan divorce: 3 tips for healthy co-parenting >>

There is no guarantee that your talented young athlete will land a full ride to the Division I school of their choice. And there is no guarantee that your valedictorian is a shoe-in for a full ride to the Ivy League. Student loans exist to help students make it to college and divorced parents may believe this will be their financial salvation, but going into massive debt – or allowing your child to accrue this kind of debt – is misguided. Your child’s educational expenses – no matter what age or grade they are in – should be addressed during the divorce process and included in your divorce settlement along with other child support issues.

Michigan courts may consider a variety of factors when determining how college expense support fits into your Michigan divorce settlement, such as the income, savings, and investments of both parents, the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not ended in divorce, and the availability of financial aid. Your divorce attorney can guide you best on these matters.

Divorce affects your kids more than you think >>

College requires planning and, even if you’re in the middle of a divorce, must be considered and discussed during your divorce. If you’re divorced and struggling with reconciling how college expenses fit in based on your divorce settlement, contact a divorce lawyer to review your settlement. Your child’s eligibility for financial aid can be impacted by a great number of factors, including whether you or your ex remarries. It’s always wise to directly contact the individual schools your child is interested in applying to so that you can understand their specific requirements for financial aid eligibility and avoid being in a less-than-ideal financial situation down the road.

Contact Femminineo Attorneys in Mt. Clemens, MI, to schedule your no-cost initial interview and discuss all financial aspects of your divorce and how they will impact you and your children.

More about divorce and finances:

How a Michigan divorce can impact your retirement
The tax implications of your Michigan divorce
When your divorce affects your professional life

What makes us the right divorce attorneys for you?

  • Family Law Expertise

    Most lawyers are in a general practice and do some of everything. One of our main focuses is on Family law and being expert at divorce, custody and support matters.

  • Strong Relationships

    We are in court daily, working with the family court judges, their staff and clerks, the Friend of the Court office, the Bar Association and other attorneys working in this area. We pride ourselves on fighting hard for our clients while working well with everyone.

  • Experience

    Our extensive experience and strong relationship with the courts and our peers leads many judges and attorneys to hire us to act as Mediators in other Family Law cases. Make no mistake; having a strong working relationship with the court can have a massive impact on your case. Unlike most attorneys, we have no fear of the court room and are in trial regularly against the best in the business. We see the judges every week and maintain strong ties with their staff.

  • We Care

    Although every attorney can “handle” your case, Femminineo Attorneys cares about you and your family. We work extremely hard to keep this difficult process civil and to shelter your children from as much of the negative facets as possible.

  • Commitment

    Once your case is concluded, we will be there to help you with any post-judgment problems that may arise.

  • Flexibility

    Everyone’s financial situation is different and we work with our clients to formulate a fee arrangement that works within your means.

  • Effectiveness

    We have handled every possible situation involving domestic law. We will do everything possible to wrap up your case in a timely manner, avoiding delays that cause unnecessary legal fees.

  • Tenacity

    When your case cannot be easily solved, we will fight hard and use all of our resources to win. Unlike most attorneys, we have no fear of the court room and we regularly win cases against the best in the business at trial.

  • Expert Staff

    Unlike many attorneys who have a part-time typist and work 30 hours a week, we have an expert staff available all day long to assist you and provide immediate service. We are available to our clients 24 hours a day through our hot line at 586-854-3654.

  • Personal Service

    At Femminineo Attorneys, your case will be handled by an experienced family law attorney. Each of our attorneys in our family law division has many years of experience in handling family law matters.

We encourage you to see these differences for yourself and call today to speak with one of our partners or schedule a free consultation at our office.

During traditional business hours, please call us at:

(586) 954-9500

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Michigan Divorce Attorney

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