It is perhaps the most commonly fought post-judgment battle in all of family law and the most easily avoidable if handled in advance: how much, if anything, should each parent contribute towards the expenses of a college education for their children, and what happens to the paying parent’s existing obligation for child support in the college years? How does the court decide these matters? What are the most important things the court is going to look at in deciding which parent should pay how much of the cost of college for their children and how does the court decide whether or not payments of child support are also still warranted?
It’s a terrible irony in New Jersey that parents who remain married may not be compelled to make payments towards or take out loans to help cover the costs of a college education for their children. But if those same two people should choose to divorce, the courts can and frequently will order one (or both) parents to make payments and contributions toward the cost of a college education for their adult children. In some cases these payments may even extend through Graduate school, assisting with the cost of a legal or medical degree. As if that were not worrisome enough (or comforting, depending upon where you stand), child support payments may also be held to continue during this period, whether paid to the severed spouse or directly to the adult child.
This is where we come in. The best time to address the college expense and child support issue is at the time of your divorce in a carefully drafted Property (or Marital) Settlement Agreement. Nothing is worse for a family law attorney than watching two people spend money that could be going to college on litigation about who is going to pay for college. A skilled family law attorney can help you draw the lines as to college costs at the time of your divorce, leaving you and your former spouse to provide the maximum assistance to your children in the years to come without reducing yourselves to poverty. And if the matter was not addressed at the time of your divorce, a skilled, and reasonable attorney can be your best bet to find a rational and financially responsible solution that meets the needs of the child without breaking either parent’s bank. College is expensive. So is fighting in court. Before it comes to that, give us a call and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced family law attorneys. We’re here to find the best possible result for you given the facts at hand, not to litigate at all expense. And we’re all too happy to sit with you for free, look at your legal matter, and discuss your options for moving forward in the best possible way for you and for your children.
For a free consultation at our call 856-227-7888, or contact us at [email protected]