Which Former Spouse Is To Pay for College Following a NJ Divorce?

By Lois G. Schwartz | December 10, 2018

child support lawyer cherry hill njDivorce is not an easy subject for any couple. It becomes even more difficult when children are involved for a variety of reasons. One of the most common questions divorcing couples with children ask is which former spouse is responsible for paying for college once the divorce becomes final. A child going to college can be a very exciting time for many parents, but with tuition and book prices increasing, the costs can be high. Determining which spouse is responsible for paying for college can be a contentious point considering the costs. Contact the New Jersey divorce child education expense attorneys at Lois Garber Schwartz, Esq. today for a free consultation.

Applying for Financial Aid in Camden, NJ

One of the most common ways parents help their children pay for college is through financial aid. Under the federal rules, the custodial parent of the child applying for financial aid is the parent who is to complete the application. The government does not look at the financial assets of the non-custodial parent when determining financial aid. Despite this, any child support or alimony that is paid by the non-custodial parent must be included on the application. When it comes to determining the custodial parent for the application, it will be the parent with whom the child lived the most for the past 12 months.

If your child is applying to a private college or university and seeking financial aid from the institution, things become a little more complicated. These schools typically require information from the non-custodial parent on the application form, such as their financial assets. When the non-custodial parent includes their information it can affect the amount of money awarded to the student by the school, but it won’t affect the money awarded by the federal government.

The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) While Child is in College in Haddonfield, NJ

The Expected Family Contribution, or EFC, is the amount of money that the family is expected to spend on the college education for the year in which the application was filed. This includes any money that will be contributed by the student. Should the cost to attend school for that specific year is more than what the family is expected to contribute, then financial aid can be increased. Aid can be issued in the form of work-study programs, grants, and loans. EFC is calculated by taking a look at the financial assets of the parents and the student. The student’s income calculation also includes any income paid to the child by the noncustodial parent, including money taken from a 529 account to help pay for tuition. This occurs whether the money is handed to your child or the tuition bill is paid directly to the school by the non-custodial parent. All student loans must be paid off using funds that are not from a 529 account since loans for education are not considered expenses under the current rules now for 529 accounts.

Contact a Cherry Hill Family Law Attorney for a Consultation About Child’s College Expenses in New Jersey Today

If you are thinking about filing for divorce, or if you have already started the divorce process and are dealing with child custody, child support, or division of assets, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The New Jersey family law attorneys at Lois Garber Schwartz, Esq. represent clients throughout the state, including Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, Winslow, Pennsauken, Voorhees, Lindenwold, Haddon Township, Collingswood, Haddonfield, NJ.

We understand how challenging this time can be for you, which is why we will fight hard to protect your interests, and the interests of your loved ones, throughout the legal process. Call us at (856) 375-8989 or fill out our confidential contact form to schedule a consultation. We have an office conveniently located at 1040 Kings Highway N., Suite 202, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly

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    Lois Garber Schwartz

    1040 Kings Highway N., Suite 202

    Cherry Hill, NJ 08034


    Phone: 856-375-8989

    Fax: 856-482-0343