While college costs are not generally a part of child support in New Jersey, you may still be required to contribute toward these educational expenses. The amount and requirements will vary depending on the circumstances.
Child support does not necessarily end when a child turns 18. New Jersey law does not consider a child emancipated if the child attends college as a full-time student. In that situation, you may be obligated to continue your support throughout college or until the child reaches the age of 23, whichever is sooner.
Child support is calculated according to the New Jersey Child Support Guidelines. College expenses are not included in the guidelines, but New Jersey courts do expect divorced parents to contribute to college expenses. The parents may agree as to how to pay for college between them. This agreement is often a part of the original divorce agreement or could be settled through mediation. Some parents include provisions in their divorce agreement that use the cost of a State University of New York education as a measurement of their required contribution.
When both parties cannot agree, a judge will determine who will pay the expenses and the amount they will pay. In making this decision, the judge will consider these 12 factors set forth in the precedential case of Newburgh v. Arrigo:
Also considered is the extent that both parents were involved in selecting the college where the child is to attend, which can make a big difference in the costs involved.
At the Law Office of Kisha M. Hebbon, LLC in Somerset, New Jersey, we can help you negotiate an agreement or represent you in court to resolve college expense disputes. Contact us online or call 732-873-6464 for a consultation.