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Do I Have to Pay for My Child’s College After a Divorce in New Jersey?

If you are unsure about whether or not you will be responsible for paying for your child’s college after your divorce, continue reading and reach out to our firm today to speak with one of our skilled Morris County NJ divorce lawyers. Our legal team is on your side.

How do New Jersey courts determine parent college tuition responsibilities?

In most divorce settlement agreements, college tuition payments are addressed. Most of these agreements will say that both parents have some kind of financial responsibility to contribute to their child’s college tuition. You will want to recognize that college tuition obligations are completely different from child support.

The contribution a parent will be required to pay towards their child’s college tuition is generally calculated at the time a college is specified and is based upon both parents’ earnings at that time. Typically, it is not the best idea to decide on a straight 50/50 split of college tuition during the time of divorce, especially if your children are extremely young. This is because you may not know where you will be in your financial future.

In some instances, parents may be able to come to an agreement over college cost-sharing on their own out of court, typically with the aid of their attorneys or a mediator. If college tuition disputes end up in court, a judge will assess a parent’s contribution toward the cost of higher education by looking at several different factors. Some of these elements include:

  • The outcome of the background, values, and goals of the parent on the reasonableness of the expectation of the child for higher education;
  • The amount of the assistance sought by the child for the cost of higher education;
  • Whether the parent, if still living with the child, would have contributed toward the costs of the requested higher education;
  • The ability of the parent to pay that cost;
  • The relationship of the requested contribution to the kind of school or course of study sought by the child;
  • The financial resources of both parties;
  • The commitment and aptitude of the child for the requested education; and
  • The financial resources of the child, including assets owned individually or held in custodianship or trust.

If you are interested in learning more about these factors, it is in your best interest to reach out to our firm today. Our dedicated legal team is on your side. Give us a call to get started.


At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, LLC, our seasoned divorce and family law attorneys ensure that through the process of resolving your family matter, you feel empowered, not overwhelmed. Providing unwavering support, undivided attention, and unflinching advocacy, our team invests in your cause, working tirelessly to pave your path toward a brighter tomorrow. If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.