College Costs and Divorce in New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, a divorced spouse may have a permanent obligation to contribute towards a child’s college education, whereas an intact couple would have no such affirmative obligation. In today’s trying economic times, the cost of college is a frequently litigated issue in divorce courts throughout the State of New Jersey. The controlling case in the State of New Jersey discussing college contributions in a divorce context is Newburgh v. Arrigo, 88 N.J. 529 (1982).
As outlined in Newburgh v. Arrigo, a court will consider the following factors when evaluating a claim for contribution by a parent towards his or her child’s college costs:
- Whether the parent, if still living with the child, would have contributed toward the cost of the requested higher education;
- The effect 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 contribution sought by the child for the cost of the 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 parents;
- The commitment to and aptitude of the child for the requested education;
- The financial resources of the child, including assets owned individually or held in custodianship or trust;
- The ability of the child to earn income during the school year or vacation;
- The ability of financial aid in the form of college grants and loans;
- The child’s relationship to the paying parent, including mutual affection and shared goals as well as responsiveness to parental advice and guidance; and
- The relationship of the education requested to any prior training and to the overall long-range goals of the child.
Villani & DeLuca Can Answer Your College Costs Questions
Villani & DeLuca, P.C. has successfully argued on behalf of litigants seeking to compel contribution from the other spouse towards college costs as well as successfully representing individuals who do not have the means to contribute to the same. Should college funding be an issue in your pending divorce, please contact Villani & DeLuca to further discuss your rights and legal obligations. Call 732-965-3350 today. Villani & DeLuca represents clients throughout Monmouth County and Ocean County.