If you are unsure about whether or not you will be held responsible for paying for your child’s college tuition, reach out to our skilled New Jersey firm today. At Siragusa Law Firm, our Somerset County divorce attorney is on your side. Give us a call today to get started.
How do New Jersey courts determine parent college tuition responsibilities?
Most divorce settlement agreements acknowledge college decisions and payments. In most instances, these agreements will state that both parents will have a financial role in paying for their child’s college tuition. It is important to recognize that college education obligations are different than child support payments. In most divorce settlement agreements, there is a language that acknowledges college decisions and payments.
Once the child’s college is selected, and both parents’ income levels are evaluated, the part that each parent is required to pay will be determined. Typically, it is never the best idea to settle on a straight 50/50 division of college tuition at the time of divorce, especially if your children are very young. This is because you cannot predict your financial future.
In some instances, parents may be able to reach a consensus over college cost-sharing on their own out of court, typically with the assistance of their attorneys or a mediator. When college tuition disputes end up in court, a judge will evaluate a parent’s contribution toward the cost of higher education by taking a look at several different factors. Some of these factors include the following:
- Whether the parent, if still living with the child, would have contributed toward the costs of the requested higher education;
- The outcome of the background, values, and goals of the parent on the reasonableness of the expectation of the child for higher education;
- The amount of the assistance sought by the child for the cost of higher education;
- The ability of the parent to pay that cost;
- The relationship of the requested contribution to the kind of school or course of study sought by the child;
- The financial resources of both parties;
- The commitment and aptitude of the child for the requested education; and
- The financial resources of the child, including assets owned individually or held in custodianship or trust.
If you would like to learn more about these obligations, it is in your best interests to reach out to our experienced firm today. Our legal team is on your side. Reach out to us today to get started.
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