3 options for RESPs in divorce

Registered Education Savings Plan child savings account divorce
  • The RESP may be considered as a marital asset for equalization or division purposes. This means the parties may split it as part of the divorce or separation proceedings. But keep in mind that it comes down to what the both of you agree. There’s no requirement that you must do this.

  • Most parents typically treat RESPs as assets for their children and choose to leave them untouched. If you were both contributing to the RESP before divorce or separation, you can continue to do so. But, you cannot open a joint subscriber account after divorce. Another thing you should keep in mind if you do choose this option is an RESP is not protected from creditors. So, if either spouse should file for bankruptcy, some part or even all of the value of the plan could be at stake.

  • You can choose to split the RESP down the middle at the time of separation, then continue separate RESPs for the children. There will be no penalty for such transfer so long as the beneficiary under both plans is the same or the plans have siblings in common and the receiving plan allows for more than one beneficiary.

  • Parents may also choose to put the RESP towards extra-ordinary expenses (Section 7 expenses) for child support. Post-secondary education is already regarded as part of extra-ordinary expenses in any case.


Making an RESP financial disclosure


How do I check my RESP balance? financial disclosure Details

RESP factor in divorce

The statement is typically sent to subscribers on a quarterly basis, usually in March, June, September and December. If you have not received your statement for the period, you may need to conduct inquiries.

Obtaining a digital copy of this document:


Obtaining  a digital copy of this document

  1. Many online sources allow you to download a digital copy to the device.
  2. Most up to date Web Browsers allow you the option of “Print to PDF”
  3. Scan your hard copy to a pdf.   

Note: This can be done on a personal (home or work) scanner, or can be done at a retailer such as Staples Business Depot

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About the Author:
Ken Maynard CDFA, Acc.FM

I assist intelligent and successful couples in crafting rapid, custom separation agreements that pave the way for a smooth transition towards a secure future. This efficient process is achieved in about four meetings, effectively sidestepping the excessive conflicts, confusion, and costs commonly linked to legal proceedings. Clients have the flexibility to collaborate with me either via video conference or in-person through a DTSW associate at any of our six Greater Toronto mediation centers, located in Aurora, Barrie, North York, Vaughan, Mississauga, and Scarborough.

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Ken Maynard CDFA, Acc.FM