Who Pays for College After a Divorce in New York?
It should be noted from the outset that unlike the statutory requirements in New York to pay basic child support for children under the age of 21, there is no statutory mandate that parents must pay for the college expenses of their children. I find it interesting that the statutory law has been stagnant on this issue for so many years. But not to worry! Because decisional law and what I call “law by custom” has, by and large, created a belief that parents must contribute to the college education expenses of their children, even if, which is often the case, the parents must assume large amounts of debt in order to do it. I hope readers of this blog do not form a belief that I believe that parents should NOT be expected to pay for their children’s college education because in fact, I think it is the just and proper thing and that all parents should want their children to have a bright and successful future. Education is the key to that of course. It is the general rule in Nassau and Suffolk counties that the parents’ respective obligations for college expenses for their children are capped at what the costs of a SUNY four year education would cost at the time of the child’s enrollment. This cap would apply whether the child actually attended a SUNY school or a private college or university. It is up to the parents then to see how much they could afford to pay for over this “SUNY cap.” Generally, whatever the parents decide is accepted by the Court and ultimately, this obligation becomes part of the Judgment of Divorce so the parents’ respective obligations in this regard are enforceable through the Court if such becomes necessary. It should also be noted that generally again, the allocation of the college expenses between the parents is based upon their respective proportion of the combined parental income, though the parties if agreeable, may also stipulate to some other proportion.
To better understand issue of parents’ obligations to pay for their children’s college expenses in the context of a divorce or separation in Nassau and Suffolk County New York and how your particular facts and circumstances could impact this important issue, you are invited to contact Robert B. Pollack, Esq., principal attorney of The Pollack Law Firm, P.C.
By Robert B. Pollack, Esq., principal attorney at The Pollack Law Firm, P.C.: Our firm is solely focused on Nassau and Suffolk County divorce, separation and all phases of matrimonial law, family law and mediation—
The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., serving clients in Nassau and Suffolk County, is always available to assist and represent parties in divorce and all other matrimonial and family law matters. Please call today to schedule a free consultation: (516) 938-3330.
DISCLAIMER: This article is intended to provide only general information for entertainment purposes and should never be relied upon as legal advice. One should seek the assistance of experienced matrimonial counsel to assist in explaining the law, options and making important decisions in any divorce, matrimonial or any family law matter. By reading this article, no attorney/client relationship arises in any manner whatsoever.