College Contributions After a Divorce
South Jersey Divorce Attorneys
According to the College Board, the average annual cost of tuition in 2014-2015
was $31,231 at private colleges, $9,139 for state residents at public
colleges and $22,958 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.
The point is: college isn't cheap. And yet according to Discover Student
Loans, out of a survey of 1,000 parents, 77% indicated that they planned
on helping their child pay for college.
Many parents still view it as their duty to help their child obtain a college
degree. The big question divorced parents face as their children take
the SAT and begin applying for college admittance is, "Who is responsible
for paying for their kid's college education?" To find out more
about college contributions, speak with our South Jersey divorce lawyers
for honest counsel and customized solutions to your matter.
The View of New Jersey Courts
New Jersey courts tend to view a college education as a necessity and regardless
of your personal beliefs, many judges will require that you help pay for
your children's college costs, if it is within your ability to do
so. If you and your spouse have already agreed to both help pay for your
children's college costs, divorce proceedings can continue smoothly on.
Often times, however, this area of divorce can become contentious, with
spouses disagreeing on:
- To what extent college costs should be covered
- How these costs should be paid
How the Court Determines if You Should Help Contribute
Before ordering you to contribute towards your children's college costs,
the court will evaluate the following:
- Whether you and your spouse would have contributed towards the costs if
you still lived together.
- Your educational values and goals and the "reasonableness of the expectation"
that your child attain a higher education.
- The amount sought by the child for the cost of higher education.
- The ability of parents to pay tuition costs.
- The amount sought by the child in accordance to the costs of the school
he/she desires to get into.
- The financial resources of both parents.
- The child's aptitude and commitment to receiving a college education.
- The financial resources of the child (including personal assets or assets
available through a custodianship or trust).
- The ability of the child to earn income during the school year/while on vacation.
- The availability of financial aid in the form of college grants and loans.
- The child's relationship to the paying parent (this includes mutual
affection, shared goals and his/her ability to respect this parent's
advice and guidance).
- Whether the long-range goals of the child and his/her prior training corresponds
with the type of education they seek.
If you would like to learn more about this area of law and to find out
how much you could be requested to set aside for your children's college
education, contact our legal team at Burnham Law Group, LLC today! We
look out for you and your child's best interests.
free case evaluation,
call our office
at (856) 924-6331 now!