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Protecting college savings during divorce

Georgia couples who are going through divorce ultimately have to decide how to split up the assets that they have accumulated together. This is accomplished either through a settlement agreement or by litigating the case in front of a family law judge. One asset that the parties may be particularly concerned about is their children's college savings plans.

During the divorce process, the parties have the opportunity to create their own settlement agreement pertaining to their property and other aspects of the marriage. Certain college savings plans provide for the possibility of changing a beneficiary after they have been established, such as the 529 savings plan and Cordell College Savings Account. While this may not seem significant during the marriage, the issue can become more complicated due to divorce. A parent may be concerned his or her ex-spouse's new children in a subsequent marriage may benefit from the savings account for instance.

In order to protect college savings during divorce, the parents may reach an agreement that safeguards their children's savings. This agreement may include using a different savings vehicle that does not permit the changing of a beneficiary, such as with a custodian account or an irrevocable trust. Additionally, the agreement may specify when it is permitted for withdrawals to be made from the account, such as when paying tuition or necessary fees. However, there may be other times when the parties agree a withdrawal is appropriate like if there is an emergency involving the child.

Individuals who are concerned about how their children's college savings will be affected during a divorce may choose to contact a family law lawyer. He or she may provide advice that is based specifically on the circumstances of the case.

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