It almost goes without saying that the children of divorce are significantly less likely to receive continuing education financial assistance from their parents that those who remain in intact families.  The latest study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Rice University in Texas re-affirmed that which many people already knew. That study appears in the December Issue of the Family Issues journal.

The study concludes that continuing education financial assistance is doled out in the following measures:

  • Married parents – 8% of their income contributed.
  • Divorced parents – 6% of their income contributed.
  • Remarried parents – 5% of their income contributed.

This is the reason that many states had post-divorce child support statutes that required divorced parents, especially non-custodial parents, to contribute significantly to their children’s continuing education as a matter of law.  We’ve previously detailed these issues in our post Requirement for Non Custodial Parent to Pay College Expenses.  Fortunately, while not all states have removed such unconstitutional provisions from their child support statutes, some states still have requirements that force already over-burdened parents to pay for at least a portion of the higher education of their children.  This is unconstitutional because no such law exists requiring parents who are married and have remained in intact families to bear such responsibility by force of law – violating the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requiring all citizens have equal protection under the law.

In any event, after divorce, children of divorced parents will ultimately have to look elsewhere for college funding assistance.  Children from intact families will bear a lesser financial burden.   From this article on the Milwaukee Magazine website: Divorce Cuts Into College Funds for Kids

Their parents’ money, on average, covers 77 percent of their college costs. For the children of divorced parents, that figure falls to 42 percent. Among the children of remarried parents, it’s 53 percent.

We’ve detailed in countless articles the financial havoc caused by divorce, child custody litigation, and various child support related issues that are of grave concern to so many in our society.  This is just another to throw onto the pile.

If there is a good side to this situation, you can carefully use these financial difficulties to motivate your children to maintain a high level of success in school.  The better your children do academically, the greater their likelihood of obtaining scholarships and other high educational financial assistance.  If they’re gifted and determined enough in a sporting activity, that’s another avenue to help ease the financial burden of higher education today.

For those of you who are divorced in states which require parents to bear the burden of their children’s higher educational expenses by force of law, well, you’ll continue to be forced to sacrifice your own health and overall well-being under what the government contends is “in the best interests of the children.”  At least, that will be the case until your state recognizes the glaring unfairness of such a law and, even more importantly, the reality that such a provision as law is completely unconstitutional.