College Tuition and Fees
According to the college board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2010-2011 school year was $27,293 at private colleges, $7,605 for in state residents at public colleges and $19,595 for out of state residents attending public universities. These numbers do not include room and board expenses. In New York State, the cost of college is higher than the national average as is the cost of room and board.
Child Support and College Tuition After a Divorce
Typically, divorced parents agree to contribute towards the college expenses of their children in proportion to their incomes. Generally speaking, contribution towards college expenses are limited by the courts to a SUNY “cap” and the non custodial parent gets a dollar for dollar credit against their child support obligation to the extent they contribute towards their child’s room and board expenses. For example, if a non custodial parent’s share of college expenses amounts to $10,000 per year, $2,000 of which represents their contribution towards room and board, the non custodial parent will receive a $2,000 credit against their child support obligation. The custodial parent may avoid this result by a carefully crafted separation agreement that contains a provision that specifically states that the non custodial parent will not be allowed to claim a dollar for dollar credit against theirchild support obligation to the extent they contribute towards their child’s room and board. If you enjoy residential custody of your child, this clause would be of great benefit to you, particularly where your child is attending a private university whose tuition greatly exceeds the tuition of a SUNY school since the non custodial parent’s contribution is generally limited by the abovementioned SUNY “cap”.
To understand this better its always good to speak to a competent child custody and divorce lawyer so that you are fully aware of your unique situation. Call Michael A. Cohen at 516-280-6806.