There are several ways a divorce can impact how you pay for your child’s college. One is that your ex may not be required to contribute. In New Jersey the parties are obligated to contribute to their children’s college education as best they are able at the time. So, if your spouse is no longer financially able to contribute to college when it is finally time for your child to attend, he or she may not have to contribute to college expenses. Under Newburgh v. Arrigo, 88 N.J. 529 (1982) the Court will consider the following factors:
- Whether the parent would have contributed toward the costs of the requested higher education if the parties were still living together
- The educational values and goals of the parents and the reasonableness of the expectation that the child attain higher education
- The amount sought by the child for the cost of higher education
- The ability of the parent to pay the cost
- The relationship of the requested contribution to the kind of school or course of study sought by the child
- The financial resources of the both parents
- The commitment to and educational aptitude of the child for the requested education
- The financial resources of the child, including assets owned individually or held in custodianship or trust
- The ability of the child to earn income during the school year or on vacation to reduce his/her costs
- The availability of financial aid in the form of college grants and loans
- The child’s relationship to the paying parent, including mutual affection and shared goals as well as responsiveness to parental advice and guidance
- The relationship of the education requested to any prior training and to the overall long-range goals of the child
Another consideration is the income of the custodial parent and financial aid eligibility. Sometimes the custodial parent is actually making more money than the non-custodial parent. Remarrying after a divorce can also change financial aid eligibility for a student. Some colleges require additional financial aid forms from the non-custodial parent, impacting financial aid awards.
It is important to note that in New Jersey, the courts generally view college as necessary. Further, when a child turns 18, a party may not necessarily be exempted from child support. Emancipation at 18 years old in New Jersey is not automatic.
Morristown Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Assist Divorcing Parents With Questions About Funding College for Their Children
If you are going through a divorce and have concerns about putting your children through college, contact one of the Morristown divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. today. Call 908-575-9777 or contact us online. From our Somerville, New Jersey office we serve clients in the surrounding areas, including Morristown, Somerset, Woodbridge, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, and Morris Plains.