Are parents obligated to pay for college tuition?

When two spouses get divorced and they have a child or multiple children together, one parent may be ordered to make child support payments each month. These payments go towards providing the custodial parent with financial assistance in caring for the child because the expenses can quickly add up. Once the child is nearing the end of their high school career and is considering heading off to college, another question arises. Is the non-custodial parent obligated to pay for their child’s college tuition?

In New Jersey, non-custodial parents are, in fact, required to make college tuition parents if the court orders you to do so. These tuition expenses fall under “necessary education,” which parents in New Jersey are required to provide. In Newburgh, v. Arrigo, it was ruled that divorced parents in New Jersey must pay for the costs of their child’s education. Of course, the courts will assess the financial situation of both parents and determine whether it makes sense for them to make tuition payments on behalf of their child. If it would be too much of a financial burden on the parents, the court may opt out of this ruling.

It is important that if you are the non-custodial parent of a child nearing college age, you determine your liability to make college tuition payments. If you fail to make the payments that you are obligated to, you may find yourself in legal trouble. This goes for failure to make child support payments as well. Contact an experienced family law attorney who can assess your situation, provide you with assistance, and help you avoid negative consequences in the future.

The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced attorneys throughout the states of New Jersey and Delaware. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding your specific case.