girl smiling in college class

When two parents separate or divorce it is bound to affect their children in many ways. New Jersey state law strives to limit the negative effects of divorce on children, including the effects on their education. Divorced parents in NJ may have a legal obligation to contribute financially to their child’s higher education. For more information on why parents might have to pay for their child’s college read on and contact an experienced Sparta child support attorney.

Do I Have to Pay for My Child’s College?

If you are separated or divorced from your child’s other parent you may be required to financially contribute to their college education. Whether or not you will be required to pay will depend on the details of your financial situation as well as the circumstances of your child and their other parent. There are generally two ways that you may be on the hook for paying for your child’s college.

Sometimes couples will decide on their own to determine how college expenses will be paid. During a divorce or separation, they can create their own agreement that outlines who will pay, how much they will contribute, and more. College tuition provisions can be a helpful tool in a divorce. Deciding how college will be paid for in advance can help the parents avoid disputes and confusion when it comes time to hand over the money.

However, if the two parties cannot agree or if they decide not to make such decisions yet, a family court will make the choice for them.

What Factors Are Considered When Determining Financial Obligation?

If a court is tasked with determining college tuition payments they will consider a plethora of factors to ensure they are making a fair decision for both parents and the child. The following criteria may be examined during family court to assess how a child’s college tuition will be paid.

  • The amount of money that the child is seeking for college expenses
  • The financial ability of the parents to pay
  • The financial resources of both parents
  • The financial resources of the child
  • Whether the parent would have contributed to the child’s college expenses if they still lived with them
  • The relationship between the child and parent
  • The child’s ability to work and earn an income
  • The child’s ability to seek financial aid such as scholarships, grants, and loans

The above are all important factors in determining a fair solution for all parties involved. If you are paying child support and are being faced with the potential obligation of contributing to college expenses, you may want to consider acquiring the services of a skilled attorney. Speak with a family lawyer today for legal advice and representation to ensure your parental rights are respected.