Smedley Law Group Logo


08. College Contribution

Gloucester County College Contribution Lawyers Located in Woodbury, NJ

Trusted Woodbury College Contribution Attorneys Help Clients Resolve College Contribution Matters in Gloucester County and Throughout South Jersey

Everyone knows college is expensive. While intact families can decide that they aren’t financially willing or able to put their children through college, parents at the head of non-intact families aren’t allowed that luxury and can be compelled to contribute to the cost of their child’s college education, even over their own objection.

While there are restrictions on the obligation, which are extremely fact-specific, the general rule is that a judge can order these non-intact families to contribute to their children’s college education. Additionally, it’s very common for these agreements to be codified in settlement agreements executed during the course of a divorce.

Smedley Law Group, P.C. is extremely well versed in this particular area of the law, and after we review your situation, we can provide the guidance necessary so you can properly plan for the future:

Delaying this conversation could make the process more complicated and costly going forward, no matter which side of the conversation you’re on. If you have questions about your rights or obligations in contributing to your child’s higher education, contact our law firm to arrange a consultation with a lawyer who can help.

Understanding a Parent’s Obligation to Contribute to College Costs

In New Jersey, courts generally require parents to contribute to the cost of their children’s college if they’re financially able to do so. The Supreme Court of New Jersey has ruled that it’s a parent’s duty to support the child in his or her educational endeavors.  

In fact, in deciding whether to order you to contribute to the cost of your child’s college, the courts will consider:

Courts can, of course, consider any other factors that might be relevant to your unique family and financial circumstances.

Why Choose Smedley Law Group, P.C. to Protect Your Family’s Interests?

College is almost always expensive. It’s a huge investment in your child’s future and reaching an agreement on college contribution obligations isn’t always easy. The determination of whether a parent should be required to contribute is fact-intensive and often requires extensive negotiations.  

Often, parents attempt to reach an agreement with respect to college contributions during divorce proceedings. Depending upon the age of the children, this may not always be feasible—and an agreement reached in the past might not reflect a family’s current reality. The needs of children also change, so financial obligations might need to change along with those needs.

Our family law attorneys at Smedley Law Group, P.C. can help. We’re skilled mediators who can step in and help both parents see the bigger picture. We often help when:

If you’re worried about how to fund your child’s costs, don’t wait to address this important issue.  Even if your child hasn’t entered college yet, our attorneys can help you and your co-parent learn more about your obligations. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with an experienced mediator and family law attorney who can help.

Call Our Experienced Woodbury, NJ College Contribution Attorneys to Arrange a Consultation Today

At Smedley Law Group, P.C., our attorneys know that family law matters usually get complicated—especially when children are involved. College decisions themselves are often complicated by any number of factors.

Our family law attorneys don’t shy away from complex cases. If you’d like to explore your options for securing a college contributions agreement with your child’s other parent, contact our law office to arrange a consultation today.

Frequently Asked Questions About College Contributions for Children After Divorce

FAQ: I didn’t attend college and am not concerned about whether my child will attend college. Do I have to pay even if I don’t agree with the type of educational goals my child is pursuing?

You might. Not every parent contributes to the cost of their child’s college education. If you were excluded from the college selection process, the court will weigh that factor against imposing an obligation for you to pay.

However, that’s only one of many factors that the court will consider. If you have the financial resources to pay and the child’s request is reasonable, a court might order you to pay even if you don’t agree with your child’s decision. When college contribution issues are decided in the courtroom, the courts will balance the various factors and make a decision. That’s why it’s always better to try to reach an agreement with your co-parent before resorting to court intervention.

FAQ: Is it better to have a judge determine our college contribution obligations or to agree on ourselves?

It’s always better to try and reach a mutual agreement on college contribution issues before getting the courts involved. When a judge gets involved, matters can quickly become more complex and time-consuming—as well as expensive.

Our lawyers can help you and your co-parent explore alternate dispute resolutions and mediation options for resolving any disputes that you might have. If you can reach an agreement without court intervention, we’ll make sure that the agreement is formalized in an enforceable court order so your rights are protected going forward.

Chess set

Ready to throw out the status quo?

Book a consult today.

Our experienced team of attorneys have chosen to devote their entire practice to family law, ensuring you have a support system of strong litigators who’ll work on your behalf in your unique situation. We listen and talk with you to determine your goals and desired outcomes, and then work with you to achieve them through our advocacy.

take that first step