College Expenses & Child Support in Somerset County
Divorce Lawyers Handling College Expenses & Child Support Agreements
Under New Jersey law, courts can order divorced parents to contribute to their child’s college expenses. In connection with establishing obligations to pay for college, the court will also consider the impact of the payment of college expenses on child support obligations. If a child is living away at school, the child support guidelines no longer apply which will require a modification of child support. 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 out loans for school and contribute toward their expenses? How will paying for college impact the ability to pay for child support? Are there more children who will be going to college in the future? As a parent of a college-aged child, you will need a lawyer to explain and protect your rights.
At Shimalla, Wechsler, Lepp & D’Onofrio, LLP, our college child support attorneys in Somerset County 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 can help you understand your rights and your options.
Discuss your unique case with us during a confidential consultation. Call (908) 356-7634 to arrange yours.
Considerations of College Expenses & Child Support
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 unless the child continues their education on a full-time basis. When children go to college, child support may not be determined by the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines unless the child is living at home while attending college.
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 tuition, books, and school fees must still be determined.
A court will consider several factors to determine whether and to what extent parents should pay for college:
- Financial capability of the parents
- How much parental contribution 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
At SWLD, we can help parents reach an agreement regarding college expenses through negotiation using mediation or collaborative law and can take the matter to trial via arbitration or through the court system if necessary.
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