Planning For a Child’s Higher Education After A Divorce

In a divorce in which children are involved a divorce court will expect the parents to continue supporting the children. Part of this support may involve financing their higher education and college expenses. In New Jersey, the parents are obligated to pay for the undergraduate college education of the children after all reasonable loans, scholarships and grants.  Generally, this parental obligation requires that the children are full-time students (12 credit hours or more per semester) and that they complete their undergraduate studies within five years or less. This educational monetary support may be applied to various types of post-secondary education, including training, technical and vocational schools. The legal professionals at the Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman of New Jersey understand the state’s child support laws and can give you sound legal advice for your individual case.

Age of The Child 

The age of majority is 18. But as mentioned above, in New Jersey, the parents may be obligated to pay the educational expenses for their progeny until age 23.  Also, if a child is disabled, the parents may incur an indefinite financial responsibility for not only the educational needs of a child, but also for the adult child’s living and medical expenses. This latter responsibility has been codified by the New Jersey Legislature in a financial maintenance statute.  Generally, parents are not financially responsible for post-graduate or professional schooling for their children. 

Factors The Court Will Consider

A court does not automatically order parents to provide financial support for a child’s higher education. Each case is considered individually by the judge, and there are many factors that will be considered. If financial aid is already available in the form of a student loan or a scholarship, that is one consideration. The child’s motivation to complete an undergraduate college education is another one. Part-time employment on the part of the child may also be a probative factor.  The court will also take into account the financial resources of the parents as well.  All of the factors that the court is to take into account are set forth by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey in a case entitled Jacoby v. Jacoby, 427 N.J. Super. 109  (App. Div. 2012).  It is of paramount importance that the parent of primary residence (PPR), who is residing with the child the majority of the time, consults with the other parent about the schools that the child is interested in.  It is mandatory that both parents be kept “in the loop” before any decisions are made and financial obligations incurred. The legal guidelines that are used to calculate and determine the amount of support that will be given for higher education can be complex, and it helps to have an experienced attorney sort it out. Contacting the Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman of Voorhees, New Jersey is a good place to start. 

Coming To an Agreement

Expensive and time-consuming litigation can always be avoided if the two parents can come to a mutual agreement on who will pay for the children’s college expenses, and how much will be paid by each parent. The parents are already aware of their own budgets and usually also of the unique abilities and desires of their own children. 

Contact a Voorhees Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Child Support in NJ Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with another matter such as child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Daniel K. Newman represent clients throughout the state, including Camden, Cherry Hill, Winslow, Lindenwold, and throughout the State of New Jersey. We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at 856-309-9007 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1202 Laurel Oak Rd #207, Voorhees Township, NJ 08043.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.