What Happens to Child Support When a Child Goes Away to College?

In New Jersey, going away to college constitutes a change in circumstances that warrants a change in child support. In 2012, Jacoby v. Jacoby stated that the expenses of attending college away from home need to be considered on a case by case basis. The Court stated there are many different expenses to be considered for a college student.  Realistically speaking, child support might not decrease for a college student but increase. The expenses for living away at school must be considered along with the expenses for living at home, in a budget type of format. In addition, these expenses may change from year to year. That’s why it usually is recommend that the college expenses be reviewed each summer.

For example, tuition at most colleges increases each year. What if a child decided to study abroad one year? Who pays for the flights back and forth? What if a child gets an internship during his junior year at school? Does the child need a car to get back and forth to work? These are things you can’t possibly know at the beginning of freshman year. A yearly review during a child’s college experience allows the parents to work together to determine expenses and payments.

It also instills some responsibility in the child. Maybe during reviews it will be determined that the child will pay for certain expenses such as books or gas money for the car. Or it may be determined that the parents can only afford ½ of the tuition and the child will have to take loans. Whatever the situation, each family is unique and that’s how the courts look at it. By budgeting for as many expenses as possible, no one is surprised and the child has the best experience possible.

If you need more information regarding divorced parents paying for college, please contact Lyons & Associates.  At Lyons & Associates, we represent men and women throughout New Jersey who have unresolved family law matters, including child support for college age children. We place a premium on personalized service and attention. For a private consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at 908-575-9777.

Written by:  ChrisAnn Wright