Divorce Lawyers Handling College Expenses and Child Support Agreements
Under New Jersey law, courts have the ability to order divorced parents to contribute to their child’s college tuition. In connection with establishing obligations to pay for college, the court will also consider the impact of college expenses on child support obligations. In working toward reaching an agreement on these issues, it is important to consider numerous issues. What college costs will be paid by the parties? Will the parental contribution be financially limited? Do the children have to take loans for school and contribute toward their expenses? How will paying for college impact the ability to pay for child support? As a parent of a college-aged child, you may need a lawyer to explain and protect your rights.
At Shimalla, Wechsler, Lepp & D’Onofrio, LLP, our attorneys have experience with complex family law cases, including disputes regarding college expenses and their impact on child support. Whether you are seeking support for your child’s college expenses or anticipate being asked to pay for it, we will help you understand your rights and your options.
Considerations of College Expenses and Child Support
It is simple. If parents do not address college expenses when they divorce, they must do so by the time the child reaches college age. Child support per the guidelines usually ends when a child reaches age 18 and graduates from high school. As a result, when children go to college, child support may not be determined by the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. As a result, parents may seek to modify support to take into consideration their contributions to college expenses, especially when a child lives at school. If the child lives at home during college, support may continue at guideline levels. However, parental contribution toward expenses such as commuter tuition, books, and school fees must still be determined.
A court will consider 12 factors to determine whether, and to what extent, parents should pay for college. Some of these factors are:
- Financial capability of the parents
- How much college support is necessary
- Financial aid available via scholarships, grants and loans
- Whether the child is committed to attending college
- Child’s relationship with the parents
- Child’s financial assets
We can help parents reach an agreement regarding college expenses through negotiation using mediation, arbitration or collaborative law and can take the matter to trial with arbitration or through the court system, if necessary.
Contact Shimalla, Wechsler, Lepp & D’Onofrio, LLP
Please contact us online or call our office today at 908-922-4238 to arrange an appointment with one of our divorce lawyers who service Morris, Somerset, Hunterdon, Warren, Middlesex, Union, Monmouth, Mercer, and Essex counties, and beyond.
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