If you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce, one of the issues you might run into is what you should do with your child’s college savings account. If you’ve been setting aside money in an account for them but don’t have it protected in a separate account under their name, then that money could technically be a marital asset and be divided upon divorce.

Most couples will discuss what they want to do with their children’s savings in their separation agreement. You may both agree that it needs to be used for your child, so you may open a new account in their name and place that money there. On the other hand, you may both determine that you should split those funds and reinvest them individually, knowing that you or the other parent will be supporting your child throughout their time in college because of requirements you set in a parenting plan.

It is a good idea to address what you’d like to do with that money and how you want it to be used as soon as you can. In some instances, you may disagree on how to use that money, especially if one of you will be worse-off financially following your divorce. If you cannot come to an agreement on how to treat the savings that you have, then you may want to talk to your attorney about methods of resolving that conflict.

In a worst-case scenario, you may have to take this concern to the judge. If the money has always been intended to go towards your child’s education, then a judge may determine that it’s still a good idea for it to go there. However, every judge is different, so it may be difficult to predict the outcome in court.

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