As some Brooklyn parents may know from firsthand experience, when going through a divorce, child custody and support are often top priorities. Discussing how each parent will contribute financially immediately after divorce is obviously important, but it is also necessary to consider the future. In particular, divorcing parents should make arrangements for college tuition.

Unfortunately, many people forget to discuss this important financial aspect of having children — especially if their kids are young — but forgetting to have the conversation during your divorce proceedings could be disastrous later on. Even if you have a good relationship with your ex now, that doesn’t mean it will still be strong in 10 or 15 years. At least setting a baseline for what you will each contribute will get you both thinking about it.

Some New York couples may have already started saving money for their children’s college tuition. Whether you have or haven’t, however, it is important to utilize a college savings fund. A 529 plan, for example is not taxed and can only be used for college tuition. If you put money in different accounts and call it a college savings fund, you could end up dipping into it during your divorce or after.

Ultimately, discussing college tuition as part of your child support negotiations can help protect your money and your child’s future. When you include a tuition payment plan in your divorce decree, you can ensure that you won’t end up footing the entire bill if your spouse refuses to help out. An attorney can help you come up with some options for a college tuition plan.

Source: Reuters, “4 Ways Divorced Parents Can Plan For Their Kids’ College Tuition,” Geoff Williams, Feb. 28, 2014