New Jersey is among the minority of states requiring divorced parents to pay for college tuition on behalf of their children. While there are many criticisms of this particular lawContinue Reading Payment for Gap Year in Israel: How to Draft Marital Settlement Agreements to Ensure it is Paid
Negotiating Future College Contributions in Divorce: A Cautionary Tale
A recent Appellate Division case reminds us of the potential pitfalls of negotiating contingent issues in property settlement agreements, specifically as it relates to contribution to future college costs of…
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When You Sue Your Parents to Pay for College, You May Be Emancipated
In a new published (precedential) decision, Ricci v. Ricci, the Appellate Division addressed an adult child’s (an oxymoron, I know) request for her divorced parents to contribute to her…
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Do Parents Have an Obligation to Pay for Grad School? One New Jersey Trial Court Says, “It depends” Under Current Law and the Newly Enacted Statute
More and more, when discussing the payment of college education expenses with clients for their children, I am being asked, “What about graduate school?” The guiding principal behind that question,…
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Parents Required To Pay $16,000 Toward Estranged Daughter's College Education
“Caitlyn’s parents Maura and Michael were young loves. Their marriage only lasted two and a half years but the two say they amicably parented to give their daughter the best…
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NJ COURT FINALLY RECOGNIZES THE ECONOMIC REALITIES OF PARENTAL COLLEGE CONTRIBUTIONS
It all started with the 1982 Supreme Court case of Newburgh v. Arrigo.
That is the case that lawmakers, judges and attorneys alike point to when they are asked…
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NEW JERSEY FATHER ORDERED TO PAY $112,000 FOR DAUGHTER'S LAW SCHOOL TUITION
Talk about sticker shock. A New Jersey father was recently ordered to pay more than $112,000 for his daughter to attend Cornell Law School.
But is it really shocking? …
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Another college case: What's the actual ability to pay?
At the start of the week when most parents who have college students are writing that second semester check (gulp), the Appellate Division has decided a non precedential case in which a father objected to the trial court’s decision to make him pay 27% of his daughter’s college expenses at a private college. The case brings to the forefront situations in which the realities of limited available income come head to head with obligations for college expenses. Throw in a poor relationship between one parent and the college student, and you have a mess.
In the case of Caruso v. Whitlock, the father’s income was such that his basic child support obligation under the child support guidelines had been reduced as a result of the self support reserve. The self support reserve is a calculation in the child support guidelines which ensures that the obligor has sufficient income to maintain a basic subsistence level. So in other words, after child support, the obligor has to have left an amount which is 105% of the US poverty guideline.
The child in this case was enrolled in Rider University, a small private university without input from the father, with whom she did not have a good relationship. Both parents blames the other for the poor relationship. The judge took some testimony from the parties on the issues, but there was not a formal hearing. The daughter preferred a smaller college as opposed to Rutgers, the State University. The father stated that he wanted his daughter to go to college. The child received minimal financial assistance from the college and had some limited assets of her own.
The trial court ordered the father to pay 27% of the net college expenses which was based on the percentages from the child support worksheet that had been used the year before in an application for unreimbursed medical expenses. This came to approximately $6860 per year. …
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A New case on Child Support for a College Student
As many parents get ready to send their children off to college, those who are collecting child support from a non custodial parent wonder how their child support may be affected. The New Jersey Child Support Guidelines are applicable when computing child support for children who are less than 18 or more than 18 and attending high school and living at home. What, then, happens to child support when a child leaves for college? The guidelines specifically state that they should not be used to determine parental contributions for college or other post secondary education. As an exception, they may be applied when a child is living at home and commuting to college. Over the years, courts have taken an inconsistent view as to how child support should be calculated for children living away at school. In the recent, published ( precedential) case of Jacoby v. Jacoby, the NJ Appellate Division addressed this issue.
In the Jacoby case, the parties who were divorced had two children. When the oldest matriculated at college, the non-custodial father moved to reduce his child support obligation to Ms. Jacoby since the child no longer resided in his mother’s house. The trial judge granted his application, and reduced the child support by employing a formula in which the judge calculated child support for two children, and then one child. The judge then took the difference of these two sums and determined 38% of the difference and 25% of the calculated remainder These two sums were then added and set as support. Essentially, what the trial court did was to recognize that child support is comprised of three broad categories: fixed costs – those costs that are incurred even when child is not residing at home. An example is housing related expenses; variable costs – those costs which are incurred only when the child is with the parent ( food is an example); and controlled Costs – costs which are incurred by the primary caretaker of the child, such as clothing and entertainment. The court then presumed there was a lower amount of variable and controlled costs when the child was away at college and reduced support accordingly.
When the second child matriculated, Mr. Jacoby again sought a reduction. A different judge heard the application and denied Mr. Jacoby’s request. He then appealed. …
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College Applications from the Custodial Parent's perspective
We are in the season that High School seniors and their parents suffer from college anxiety. Figuring how to pay that tuition bill is stress enough in a two parent, happy …
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