If you’re filing for divorce in California, everything can be up in the air, including your child’s education. If your spouse wants to get back at you or your child, they might deliberately sabotage their college education. Here’s how you can protect your child’s college savings.
How can you protect your child’s 529 savings account?
As you save up for your child’s college education, you might consider opening a 529 account. A 529 account allows you to save money for college and enjoy certain tax benefits. Either you or your spouse could open a 529 account and add money to the account during your marriage.
This money is meant for college, but since it’s in the parent’s name, nothing is preventing them from withdrawing the funds whenever they want. If your former spouse tries to get back at you after a divorce, they might decide to take your child’s college fund.
If you’re worried about your spouse draining your child’s 529 account, you can stipulate during the divorce that the money must be transferred to a new 529 account under your name. If you can’t get your hands on the money, you can place certain restrictions on how the money can be used. You can also require your former spouse to send you monthly account statements so that you can keep track of the money in the account.
How can you protect your children during a divorce?
Your divorce attorney may be able to help you fight for your child’s best interests. This might include filing for sole custody, protecting their college funds or requesting a fair amount of child support. Your attorney might also help you protect yourself from retaliation from your spouse.