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Can a Judge Order a Parent to Contribute to a Child’s College Education?

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When you and your spouse get a divorce, you’ll likely have many concerns regarding your financial future. Though these are valid matters, it’s also important to understand the impact your divorce can have on your child’s future. One common question many parents have is whether or not their ex-spouse must help contribute to their child’s college education expenses. This blog explores what you must know about these complex matters and why connecting with a Somerset County family law attorney is in your best interest.

Does My Ex-Spouse Have to Help Pay for Our Child’s College Education?

When you and your spouse divorce, it’s necessary to understand the obligations of each parent to financially support their children. However, one area that can cause considerable tension is the college education of a shared child. Many non-custodial parents believe their financial support obligation ends with a monthly check to their ex for child support. In New Jersey, however, this is not always the case.

The courts have determined that so long as the child wants to attend and is admitted to a college that the parents can afford to help pay for, they may be ordered to contribute to their education. This is because the courts understand the importance of a college education and believe a divorce should not prevent a child from pursuing a higher-education degree.

What Factors Influence This Decision?

The court has set some criteria around determining whether or not to order a non-custodial parent to assume partial financial responsibility for a child’s college education. These guidelines include:

  • Considering whether or not the parent would financially contribute if they still lived with the child
  • The amount of financial contributions sought by the child
  • The parent’s ability to pay the cost
  • The financial resources of each parent
  • The ability of the child to work while in school
  • The child’s relationship to the paying parents
  • The commitment of the child to succeed in their higher education

What Should I Do if I Need Help?

As you can see, many factors can influence the outcome of a parent seeking financial assistance to pay for college education costs for a child they share with an ex-spouse. That’s why it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate these complex matters, as they can help you fight for the best possible outcome so your child can pursue their dreams of going to college and using their degree to become successful.

When you need legal assistance, the team at the Siragusa Law Firm is ready to help. We understand how complex these matters can be, which is why our team is ready to assist you through these matters. Connect with us today to learn how we can help fight for the best possible outcome when you’re dealing with child support issues.

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