Protecting children’s college savings in divorces

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Property Division on Saturday, October 21, 2017.

When Illinois residents are going through divorces, they might wonder what they should do about the college savings that they have accumulated for their children. College savings should be clearly addressed in their property settlement agreements to prevent their ex-spouses from spending the money on themselves or on others in the future.

People who are getting divorced might worry that their ex-spouses may spend money in their children’s college savings accounts on children of new spouses or on themselves. In order to prevent these problems from occurring, it is important for them to address each type of account in their divorce settlement agreement and how they should be spent.

People can include provisions that the money in the accounts will only be used to benefit the children. They may list what will be allowed as qualified withdrawals. They may also specify non-qualified withdrawals that might be allowed in cases of emergency. They might also want to take care with who to name as the accounts’ successor owners if they die. If the successor owner will be the ex-spouse, they will want to include language to ensure that the money will be passed on to the child rather than go to the successor.

Property division in divorces is complicated and often results in issues. People who are planning to divorce may want to get advice from experienced family law attorneys who can advise them about different pitfalls that they should avoid and what they should include in their property division negotiations. By being thorough, people may avoid many issues that might otherwise arise and protect the financial security of themselves and of their children. The lawyers may help their clients to negotiate full agreements so that they can avoid engaging in protracted litigation.

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