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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.
New Jersey has five types of spousal support. Rehabilitative alimony is a short-term monetary award that allows a spouse to go back to school or obtain training to re-enter the workforce. Limited duration alimony is awarded in cases of a short marriage when rehabilitative alimony doesn't apply. Reimbursement alimony is awarded when one spouse makes a personal sacrifice so that the other spouse could receive professional or career training. Alimony pendente lite is awarded when a divorce is pending so that both parties can maintain their current standard of living until a final judgment is made. Finally, there is permanent alimony which is usually appropriate in long term marriages and typically terminates upon the death of either party or remarriage.
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