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College Contribution - Do I Have to Pay for College, Too!
Contribution by a parent for the post-high school educational expense is dependent upon the ability of the parents to contribute, the desire and ability of the child or children to succeed in their educational and vocational pursuits, and a number of other factors. Suffice it to say that if the parents have the income or credit and the child has the desire and ability, the Court will generally compel the parents to contribute, many times in proportion to the parents' income. It is obvious that the goal is to create the opportunity for children to become well-educated, advance their careers and vocations and become self-supporting. The obligation can continue throughout the outer bounds of the educational spectrum. For example, professional parents create an expectation that their children will become professionals and therefore, give rise to an obligation to pay for post-college degrees. Many Judges ask the question whether the parents would have contributed toward the advanced educational needs of children had the marriage remained intact.
There are exceptions to the general rule that parents contribute to a child's education. The New Jersey Supreme Court, in a case entitled Newburgh v. Arrigo, has set forth the following additional factors which may be considered:
The Family Court routinely request the children to obtain all available student loans, grants, scholarships or aid as well as contributing to living expenses by part-time work, if available.
To file for divorce in New Jersey under no-fault grounds, the couple must have been living separate and apart in different residences for at least 18 consecutive months. There must be no hope of reconciliation in the marriage.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Author: Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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