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Financial Aid after Divorce

By Sheryl Rentz on February 7, 2013

After divorce, children are impacted in emotional and financial ways just as divorced spouses are. Child support for young children soon evolves into the issue of putting young adults through college. In cases in which the parents are separated or are divorced, it is important to know that it is the custodial parent’s responsibility to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA online document requests financial information like that found on tax returns for the purpose of establishing the amount of financial aid a student qualifies for.

Family law attorneys like the Pennsylvania attorney Sheryl R. Rentz know that clients living through a divorce are facing one of the most emotionally devastating and financially uncertain periods of their lives.

According to section 475(f) (1) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, the following rules apply when completing the FAFSA:

  • Custodial Parent refers to the parent you spent the most time living with in the past 12 month period ending on the date of the application. Don’t think of it in terms of calendar year.
  • The custodial parent for FAFSA purposes is not necessarily the same parent who has legal custody.
  • If you lived part of that 12-month period with each parent, the parent who gave you the most financial support completes the FAFSA. This should be the parent who claimed you as a dependent on his or her income tax return.
  • If you were provided with no financial support from either parent within the last12 months, you are to use the most recent calendar year when you were supported by a parent.
  • Alimony or child support money must be included on the FAFSA.

Pennsylvania family law attorney, Sheryl R. Rentz, has been helping families through the financial difficulties that arise after a divorce for the past 20 years. She is committed to delivering supportive advice to all her clients. Please call (610) 645-0100 to let us guide you through the complications of divorce.

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