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Divorced or Separated Parents

In cases where biological or adopted parents are not married, the FAFSA will walk you through a series of questions to determine which parent should be on the FAFSA. If the parent whose information is needed is remarried, the stepparent must always be included as well.

  • The parent who provides the most financial support to the student should be on the FAFSA.  
  • If the parents provide equal support, include the parent with the greater income or assets.
  • If one parent pays child support, that parent should complete the FAFSA if the child support amounts to more than half of the student's support. 
  • If the parent who provides most financial support, or has the greater income and assets, is remarried, that parent and the stepparent's income must be on the FAFSA even if they were not yet married in the requested tax year.   
  • If a dependent student's parents are unmarried and living together, both parents will need to complete the FAFSA. 

This is a change from prior years where the first criteria to determine which parent to include was who the student lived with more in the prior 12 months. Who the student lives with is no longer a determining factor.

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Northeast State Community College, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution, is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. For questions or concerns, please contact the Affirmative Action Officer.