For many Illinois families, divorce brings about a wide range of changes, including emotional, social and behavioral changes. However, one change that might not be so obvious during the process, is how divorce will affect the children’s higher education plans. A study has found that for white children in particular, divorce is factor in whether they attend college or not.

According to the study published in Sociological Science, after divorce, income can decrease and there might be financial instability. For white children, who tend to be part of more financially well-off families, the decrease in income might deter them from going to college. The study found that the impact on non-white children was not as significant. However, divorce can bring similar financial challenges to all families, so all parents need to be aware of this negative effect on higher education plans and to consider that during the divorce process.

The decrease in income and the financial instability are sometimes a result of inconsistent employment, during the marriage and after divorce. Another cause seems to be the financial surprises people face after divorce, from having to learn how to pay their own bills and provide insurance to finding out about outstanding debt, low credit scores or that spouses have intentionally hurt their credit. In other cases, fathers who were stay-at-home parents might have difficulty accepting alimony and child support due to societal perceptions of the father being the breadwinner, even if this means financial struggles for the children as well.

With the many complications involved in the divorce process, residents who have decided to get divorced might find the guidance and support from a lawyer with family law experience useful. A lawyer may be able to provide answers and explanations about legislation and choices and represent their client in negotiations with their ex and in court.