Child Support while kid is in college

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Latest post 03-11-2011 12:44 AM by crewmom. 8 replies.
  • 01-28-2009 4:54 PM

    Question [=?] Child Support while kid is in college

    My child is soon to be in college out of state. 17 years ago my divorce said that support was through college and that we pay "whatever we can" towards college. Having never missed or been late with payments I'm wondering just why I should pay child support to cover living / food expenses to my ex when I am paying half of the cost of tuition, room and board for our daughter living 300 miles away 10 months out of the year. I'd gladly pay a portion direct to my daughter for clothes and incidentals but it grates on me to pay a mortgage and food bill for an ex-wife.

    Does anyone have experience with this support modification in New Jersey?
  • 01-29-2009 6:39 AM In reply to

    re: Child Support while kid is in college

    You would probably need to go back to court to have the amount you pay directly to the mother modified. You still owe support directly to her since she is still primary custodian and responsible for those clothes and incidentals and shelter , utilities for when your daughter is not at college. However, that would be a reduced amount from what you had been paying her.
  • 01-29-2009 12:35 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    re: Child Support while kid is in college

    NJ leans heavily to require parents to pay for college but the literature seems inconsistent as to if child support stops and college support begins or you can get stuck with both--you sure need to dig harder for NJ specific issues--and refer to your exact order. Other sources seem to address ability to pay. Sorry I don't know more.

    Generally even for NJ, CS stops at 18 or HS graduation but you need to petition for it to stop and it takes time so start petition several months early. Apparently you need to petition to stop CS and address college as separate issue.

    Don't assume college is 50/50---and sometimes the CP "forgets" to apply with child for financial aid (which generally includes loan as well as grant aid) so if child is eligible for need based aid I'd be sure Mom isn't too creative to pocket same or she faild to apply--this is the season to have the aid application in --is that being done.

    And for that matter NJ has some of the nations best public institutions which are quite cost effective--so if kid wants to go out of state at big cost I'm not so sure equity requires you to pay for the luxury ride.

    The ability to accurately estimate prospects for need based aid requires you to have accurate data as to Mom's (and any new spouse) income and assets---see FAFSA forms for what all is required. In a public institution under FAFSA the NCP's ability to pay is NOT factored in! So daughter might have a high need based aid prospect?



  • 01-29-2009 3:31 PM In reply to

    Disagree [)*(] re: Child Support while kid is in college

    Not correct; even if poster had not stated that his divorce agreement states support goes through college and includes college ( which ends any argument of whether he is responsible for college or support after 18), support in NJ does not end at 18 if college involved; college is in addition to support( though will be decreased if child lives away).
  • 01-30-2009 10:23 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Note [#=#] re: Child Support while kid is in college

    The literature seems to suggest that NJ courts lean hard in favor of kids education. So even if kid picks a far away expensive college and "forgets" to apply for aid the parents are very likley on the hook---and it does NOT seem automatic that support or alimony gets cut to any great degree either. And its unclear what your order says--and how it plays out as to % and ability to pay--its entirely possible that if Mom has no ability to pay and you have it that court could look to you to pay more than 50%.

    The practical issue might be that if Mom (and any new spouse) have limited means that under FAFSA appraoch to need based aid that daughter gets a decent aid package ---and the parents need address only the split of the net due....so you may want to be super "nice" to EX as to induce a prompt and correct FAFSA seeking all appropriate aid possible.



  • 02-02-2009 8:22 PM In reply to

    re: Child Support while kid is in college

    Thanks for the input. CP is single again (after 2 more divorces) so FAFSA is based just on her income. EFC is in the 35K range based on 2008 earnings. Interestingly my income is not even a factor. The real shame here is that my kid has D1 athletic scholarship offers that make cost almost nothing but she wants to walk away for "full cost big name private college". Kids will be kids. I have no problem paying even half of the current number as long as its direct to my daughter.
  • 05-03-2009 3:32 PM In reply to

    • FedupNJ
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    Re: Child Support while kid is in college

    I am going thru the same situation.  How was this matter resolved for you if you dont mind me asking?  I spoke w/an attorney who informed me that I am not obligated to pay for housing since student will be attending school 15 miles from her home and I pay child support which includes food and shelter.  I was asked for several thousands of dollars and before agreeing I contacted the school which informed me that the student will be receiving enough assitance which will pay for tuition in full and balance applied to housing?  I am trying to figure out what I am responsible for.  Our divorce did not state anything in regards to college. I cannot afford to pay an attorney another several thousands of dollars and am trying to connect with other parents in NJ that have been thru this same situation.  Your response will be so greatly appreciated.  Hope all is well...

  • 05-06-2009 11:12 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Child Support while kid is in college

    Laymans take:

    1. You are responsible to keep paying CS until you get a petition for emancipation approved and courts will not generally approve that until child completes 4 yrs of college (absent military  or being married)

     

    2. But you are not obligated to pay MORE than order says until/unless somebody gets college added--in which case its typically split after all aid is taken into account. It would appear in your example there is no added costs except possibly for books so it might not be cost effective for CP to drag it back to court to add.....



  • 03-11-2011 12:44 AM In reply to

    • crewmom
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    re: Child Support while kid is in college

    Hello JoBraver,

    Your post on this subject is music to my ears!

    Just recently I received papers, based on a court ruling filed by me ex, that child support for my daughter is now terminated because her father will be responsible for her last 2 years of her undergrad degree.

    In my response to his motion to discontinue child support, I did agree that a reduction was expected, since she does live on campus and he will be contributing the 2 years, however, I did ask the court to consider just that. A reduction, NOT a termination.

    I have custody of my daughter and she has always resided with me until she went off to college. She still continues to be a member of this household and as such, does incur costs.

    I cannot understand why the court would allow the father a termination of child support when in the documents they specified she is not emancipated, rather, "since the father will now be contributing her last 2 years, his child support obligation is no longer".

    Our daughter is a student at an out of state college, and has a vehicle that, as all do, requires maintenance and insurance, and while home on every break and summer hiatus, consumes food, electricity and frankly, square footage and all that encompasses that. Our daughter still has financial needs over and above "room, board, and a meal plan".

    I am at a loss as to what changed from when I financed the first 2 years of college tuition and now.

    Can you email me links regarding precedent of the above situation so I can try to appeal this decision and ask the court to require her father to contribute even the smallest amount, over and above his obligation of college?

    I thank you in advance for any and all information you can provide!

     

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