I’ll respond too to the comment about divorced people better live within their limits like marrieds do: Clueless comment.
The amount of money I was forced to spend to respond to my ex’s abusive litigation exceeded what I would have spent on private colleges for the kids. But not to respond would have cost me custody: That’s how the lawyers get you.
Lawyers play rough in matrimonial court, loose with the facts, and ruinous with the billing. (Billing is really the whole point, under heaps of distracting, misleading hyperbole.)
Kids and I ended up without a place to live, though my ex could have funded the family home with marital assets 50x over. However ex must now pay tuition, as the judge ordered–which is by far less than my share of half or equitable distribution would have been. (Ex simply hid most of our stock portfolio from court, which you can do easily with tax-deferred assets.)
Formerly well-off kids were without a roof, hot water or heat. For a time, we were showering at the Y. (I remedied that, but not as well as the judge should have.)
Lawyers in matrimonial have few compunctions about bleeding a family dry. Divorce court judges can be arbitrary, and frequently ignore the mandate of “children’s best interests.” But they sure do get the lawyers’ bills paid, no matter how absurd the amount and basis.
In our idiotic and dangerous matrimonial legal system, my empathy is for all who suffer, especially the kids.
–In short, often the divorced family’s finances bear absolutely no resemblance to a married family’s finances.
And one divorcing parent is sometimes forced to choose among abuses, perhaps blindly.
My child’s merit scholarship benefits my ex, who doesn’t need the deduction–and is very unlikely to put the savings toward medical or grad school for the kid who earned it.
I am nonetheless grateful to the school, and so is my kid, that he was offered merit.
Good luck to everyone. May all our children fulfill their promise, in education and beyond!