As college acceptance notifications go out around the country, high senior seniors are spending their weekends and spring breaks touring campuses and, if they’re fortunate, deciding which of the schools they’ll choose from multiple acceptances. This may be your child’s first time touring these campuses since many schools stopped their tours over the past couple of years. You want to be part of the experience.
When you’re separated or divorced, however, you and your co-parent likely won’t want to go on these trips together. You’ve managed to work together to continue to save for your child’s college education. Sharing a college tour (even if you hang out in a local coffee shop while your teen tours the campus) is something else.
If your child is looking at more than one school, determine who will go with them to each one. Don’t expect them to go twice so you can both see it. If the tours include your alma mater or someplace where you have some ties or a particular interest, it makes sense that you’d go there. Otherwise, just find a way to split these trips between you. Neither parent should be left out – unless they really have no interest in going.
Don’t add to your teen’s anxiety
The last thing you want to do is create more anxiety for your teen. This is a stressful enough time for them without having their parents fighting over who accompanies them to which campus – or going together and arguing the whole time. If there are out-of-state trips involved, make sure you’ve gotten any necessary permission from the other parent.
If those campus tours are a few years – or more – in the future, remember that continuing to save for college can be one of the biggest challenges for divorced parents. If you haven’t included details about how you’re going to do this in any of your divorce agreements, you may want to think about adding some provisions to address a 529 plan.
When kids see that their divorced parents are still committed to getting them the best possible education can help keep them on the right track.