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 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:
- If you’re no longer with your child’s other parent, either due to divorce or termination of the relationship in cases where the parties were never married, it’s important that you understand your rights, obligations and duties as your child approaches the end of high school.
- If you’re the primary custodial parent and are seeking the contribution from your co-parent, there are specific steps you need to take so as not to negatively impact that request for payment.
- If you’re the parent being requested to contribute, it’s extremely important that you obtain all the information necessary regarding this request.
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:
- Whether you would have contributed to college costs absent the divorce
- Your financial ability to make a college contribution
- The reasonableness of the contribution requested
- The reasonableness of the child’s attendance at college given the parents’ goals, background, and values
- Whether it’s reasonable to expect that your child will attend college
- The child’s commitment to and desire to attend college
- The child’s aptitude for the education requested
- The child’s own financial resources, including trusts and other assets
- The ability of the child to earn income during college
- Whether financial aid is available in the form of scholarships, grants, need-based grants, loans, and so on
- The child’s relationship with the parents
- The type of education sought and whether it’s reasonable to expect that education to help the child further his or her long-term goals.
Courts can, of course, consider any other factors that might be relevant to your unique family and financial circumstances.
Why Choose Smedley Law Group 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 can help. We’re skilled mediators who can step in and help both parents see the bigger picture. We often help when:
- An existing college contribution agreement needs to be modified
- Enforcing an existing agreement when one parent isn’t contributing as agreed
- Parents disagree over the extent to which the child’s education should be covered
- The parents disagree over how the college costs should be paid.
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, 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.
- Locations Served in Gloucester County
- Clayton Deptford Township
- East Greenwich Elk Township
- Franklin Township Glassboro
- Greenwich Township Harrison Township
- Logan Township Mantua Township
- Monroe Township National Park
- Newfield Paulsboro
- Pitman South Harrison
- Swedesboro Washington Township
- Wenonah West Deptford
- Westville Woodbury
- Woodbury Heights Woolwich Township
Frequently Asked Questions About College Contributions for Children After Divorce
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.
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.