Do I Have To Pay For My Child’s College Education?

Whether or not you have to pay for your child’s college education depends on several factors.  If the Court decides the issue, they will consider whether the “best interests” of the child require you to pay for the child’s college education.  The Court will consider the following factors:

  1. Did you or your spouse attend college? If the answer is yes, for either parent, then it is very likely that you will have to pay for your child’s college education.
  2. Does the child have the academic ability or have other attributes (sports, music), which make going to college an advantage for the child?  If the answer is yes, then it is likely that you will have to pay for your child’s college education.
  3. Do you or your spouse have the financial ability (with loans, if necessary) to send your child to college? If the answer is yes, then it is likely that you will have to pay for your child’s college education.

Parents can also voluntarily enter into an agreement regarding whether or not they will pay for their child’s education.  If you decide that you do not want to pay for your child’s education and put that into a proper written agreement, then that will be binding.  Of course, the opposite is true as well.  If you agree to pay for your child’s education, and then decide later on that you do not want to pay for it, you will have to abide by your earlier decision to pay for college.

  1. If you decide to enter into an agreement whereby you agree to pay for your child’s education, then you need to consider the details of that agreement.  For example:
  2. Will you pay for just tuition or for tuition, fees, books, room and board, etc.? Your agreement should specify exactly what you will pay for.
  3. Will you pay for four years of undergraduate college or for how many years it takes to receive an undergraduate degree (some students take more than four years)?
  4. Will you pay for graduate school?
  5. Will you decide the maximum amount that you are obligated to pay?  In New York, most agreements state that the maximum obligation is the cost to attend a State University.
  6. How much you will pay and how much your spouse will pay.

If you need an attorney to help you in your divorce or issues involving child support, including, the payment of your child’s college, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.  David Badanes has helped countless clients in Suffolk County and Nassau County in obtaining their divorce.  Call the Badanes Law Office today at: 631-239-1702, email us at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com.  The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport (Suffolk County) and in Garden City (Nassau County).

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