May 28, 2017

Monthly Misconception for June- “CHET money isn’t mine, it’s our child’s.”

June 1, 2017

Monthly Misconception for June – “CHET money isn’t mine, it’s our child’s.”

This statement is wrong.

You and/or your soon to be former spouse may feel that the money in the CHET account is your child’s.  But legally the adult is the designated account owner.  And legally, as owner, the adult has the right to dispose of the funds however he or she wants to. 

Do you have concerns about whether your spouse will indeed spend the CHET funds only for your child’s education?  If so, there are precautions you can take as part of your divorce.  For example,

  1. Name a trusted third party, such as a godparent, as account owner.
  2. Break the CHET into two separate accounts, designating each parent as owner of one of the new CHETs.
  3. Include a provision in your divorce court order which prohibits the account owner parent from utilizing CHET funds without the prior written consent of the non-owner parent.
  4. Include a provision in the court order giving the non-owner parent full electronic access to the CHET.

There are other precautions as well.  But remember, none of these are necessarily fool proof.  Consider whether terminating the CHET, establishing a college trust or some other more aggressive option is needed to make certain that your child receives the benefit you and he or she expect.

Feel free to contact me via email,, or telephone, 203-271-3888, if you’d like to explore this important divorce issue further.  Your kids may be counting on you to do so.

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