On Your Side

Could a New Jersey court order a parent to pay college expenses?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2021 | Child Custody

Child support covers many essential costs necessary for raising minor children. As the children grow older, higher education expenses might come into focus. At that point, questions may emerge regarding cover the costs related to a college education. Is a noncustodial parent in New Jersey obligated to pay for college expenses?

State law and questions regarding college expenses

Issues regarding the noncustodial parent’s obligations to pay for a child’s college education are based on state law. In New Jersey, the court may order the noncustodial parent to pay for college education expenses. However, the courts look at several different criteria before deciding who pays for a college education.

For example, the noncustodial parent might possess few assets, but the custodial parent and the child received a significant amount of money through an inheritance. In such an instance, the court might not place substantial financial burdens on the noncustodial parent to pay.

What if the child and parent are estranged because the child chooses not to associate with the parent? The court might take a dim view when the child seeks a claim for educational expenses from the parent he or she disowned.

Ultimately, each case comes with its own particulars. Predicting how the court rules in a case might be subject to speculation.

Other considerations and seeking representation

Questions may arise about the child’s ability to procure financial aid. Approvals might involve looking at the child’s finances along with the custodial and noncustodial parent’s assets. In addition, the court could look at the child’s potential for scholarships in college when considering requiring a parent to pay for college expenses.

A parent may have to present many things in court when addressing claims for college-related child expenses. Working with an attorney to help organize their case might be beneficial. Perhaps a parent intends to pay but wants the payment requirement lowered. An attorney might be able to negotiate for such a result.

New Jersey law may prove challenging for those concerned about child support and college education expenses. Working with a family law attorney may help a client deal with these challenges.