How Divorced Parents Should Help Their Child Choose a College

Home » Blog » How Divorced Parents Should Help Their Child Choose a College

At this time of year, many teenagers are choosing a college to attend in the fall. Selecting a school can be difficult for both teens and parents alike. When parents are divorced, it can add an extra layer of stress. If you are in this situation, taking a few additional steps may help you minimize conflicts and ease tensions within your family.

Discuss college choice with your ex-spouse 

You and your ex should talk about college before your child starts looking at schools. If you have different views about what advice to give your child or how much to contribute to education costs, you need to work those out between yourselves in advance so you present a united front to your child. You should both strive to act in your child’s best interests and cooperate with each other to avoid putting your child in the middle of a dispute.

If you are having trouble resolving your conflicts, a parenting coordinator may help. A parenting coordinator (PC) is a professional who is retained by the parties or appointed by a judge in certain instances, to help parents resolve disputes out of court. Generally, a PC is a licensed mental health professional or attorney with experience in an area relating to families. A PC could also be a certified family mediator with a master’s degree in the mental health field. You may also benefit from seeking individual or family counseling services to learn how to resolve disagreements with your ex-spouse.

Encourage good decision-making in your child

You should want your child to take the lead in deciding where to go to school. If you tell them what to do, they won’t learn how to evaluate their circumstances and weigh the different factors necessary to make a well-informed choice. 

However, you do want to have a realistic conversation with your child that includes but is not limited to finances, what you can afford to contribute and the consequences of taking out loans. Many students graduate with excessive debt that they struggle to repay. The cost of the school, financial aid, anticipated salary after graduation and interest on loan payments should be part of your child’s decision.

Consult experts about choosing a college

While a parenting coordinator or family counselor can help you and your ex-spouse communicate and find a compromise, education experts can offer other assistance. Your child’s teachers, guidance counselors, coaches, school nurses, occupational and speech therapists and others may provide neutral advice about your child and/or particular colleges or fields of interest.

In addition, you may wish to hire an educational consultant. These individuals can provide information about the college application process and particular schools.

Support your child’s decision

Choosing a college is a big decision but it’s not life or death. Keep it in perspective and be supportive even if you wish your child made a different choice.

If you and your ex-spouse are having problems co-parenting, try to settle out of court with the help of professionals specializing in resolving these issues. If that doesn’t work, contact us to discuss how we can help you resolve your conflict most effectively.

Related Posts

Contact Us

Recent Posts