Can a Judge Order a Parent to Pay for College Tuition in NY?

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When you and your spouse file for divorce, you may have many questions about how this will impact your financial future. However, it’s also important to consider the financial impact this may have on your child. One thing many divorcing parents are curious about is whether or not their spouse will have to help pay for their child’s college tuition. If this reflects your circumstances, you’ll want to keep reading to learn how New York handles these matters and why it’s in your best interest to connect with divorce attorneys in Nassau County to explore your legal options surrounding these issues.

Will My Ex-Spouse Have to Contribute to Our Child’s College Tuition?

It’s important to understand that just because you and your spouse divorce does not automatically mean you are both responsible for contributing to your child’s college tuition. However, if the divorce decree holds both parents financially responsible for this matter, then it must be honored. If there is nothing in your agreement regarding your child’s college education, you may be able to petition the court for a modification. There is no guarantee that the courts will grant these terms, as it depends on the unique circumstances of each family.

What Can Influence This Decision in New York?

Generally, the courts will take a number of factors into consideration when determining whether or not a parent has the legal obligation to contribute to their child’s education. They will consider the financial capabilities of each parent and the ability of the student to earn scholarships or financial aid.

It’s also important to take the SUNY cap into consideration in these matters. New York has one of the largest college systems in the country, with 64 public colleges and universities. If your child is attending a SUNY college or university, you must take the cap into consideration. This essentially limits how much parents contribute to their child’s higher education based on the annual cost of attending a SUNY school any adjustment for additional fees, and the cost of textbooks and supplies.

You should know that while the SUNY cap sets a maximum contribution limit, a court may order a parent to pay less than that limit. The cap simply sets a guideline as to how high the contribution could go.

Can an Attorney Help Me?

As you can see, this can be a confusing process given the many different legal considerations that must be made. That’s why it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney who can help you fight for your child’s future.

At Barrows Levy, we understand the importance of college education and will fight to help your child fulfill their dreams. Connect with out dedicated team today to explore your circumstances and learn how we may be able to assist you through these complex times.

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