How divorced parents can pay for college

by | Jul 15, 2021 | Child Support

Divorce ends a marriage, but the parents’ obligation to their children goes on. If your children are teens when you and your ex split up, they will be going to college in a few years. If they are younger, college is further off, but it is still going to happen eventually.

For most people in Monmouth County, that means they need a plan to pay for their children’s college educations. You and your ex probably had already started saving money for their future tuition, living expenses and other higher education costs. Now that you are divorced, that savings plan may change dramatically. But you can still work out a system for paying for your kids’ college education and help start off their adult years on the right foot.

Child support and college expenses in New Jersey

New Jersey law requires a noncustodial parent who is paying child support to continue with that support as long as the child is enrolled as a full-time college student. However, the law contains a good-faith requirement. This means your son or daughter must be making a good-faith effort to study. This is a subjective standard. In theory, if your child is not maintaining, say, a C-minus average, you could argue that they are not treating their education in good faith and use that as a reason to go to court to end your child support obligation.

Most divorcing parents work out how much education costs each of them will be responsible for. But if they cannot agree on how college tuition will be a part of child support, the judge may decide the matter. The judge will consider things like each parent’s financial resources, whether the child has qualified for any scholarships or financial aid, and their academic performance to date.

Nobody wants their children’s education to suffer because their parents got a divorce. With proper planning, it does not have to.