Divorce in New Jersey carries special considerations when a couple has significant wealth. If you have children in private school or plan to pay for college, you must determine how you will share these expenses with the other parent.
Considering important factors can ease this complex decision to serve your child’s best interests now and in the future.
Educational expenses in divorce
State courts may address both private school and college costs as part of child support. However, judges do not use a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, the court evaluates each case individually to make a determination.
Private school expenses
The decision about private school expenses depends on several factors. If the child attended private school during the marriage with both parents’ agreement, the court may rule that you keep the same environment. Stability can help your child adjust to the divorce.
The court will also examine the financial capabilities of both parents. If one parent can contribute to private school expenses without causing financial strain, the judge may order them to cover all or part of the costs.
New Jersey courts can require parents to contribute to college costs based on their financial capacity. The judge may also consider the child’s academic performance and the type of college.
The court may expect both parents to share the burden, ensuring that the child has the opportunity to pursue higher education. The choice of college can impact the financial responsibilities of each parent.
If the child attends an out-of-state or private university, the court may adjust the parents’ expected contribution to account for the increased cost. According to U.S. News and World Report, the average tuition cost for 2023 is $10,700 for in-state colleges, $23,600 for out-of-state public schools and $42,000 for private colleges.
Modification of education expenses
After the parents reach a child support agreement that covers education, either can request a modification. Changing the court order requires a substantial change in circumstances. Examples include changes in the child’s academic performance, the financial situation of either parent or the child’s educational choices.
Parents can also reach a private decision about educational expenses without court intervention. Clear communication and mutual understanding can lead to a cooperative resolution.