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Who will pay for college?

Education costsParents often have conflict about how to pay for their children’s college education and those who are divorcing wonder if there is prescribed formula for the payment of college expenses. While the New York State Child Supports Standards Act recognizes that education is an add on expense (something that is above and beyond every day expenses), there is no formula.

Every family’s values are different regarding higher education and each family arrives at their own agreement. For example, some families agree that each parent will pay a set dollar amount per year, others to pay for a 2-year school and re-evaluate, others expect their child to contribute by paying one-third of the total cost through work and student loans, others feel the child should be 100% responsible, and others agree to pay a full ride wherever the child is accepted. These are only a few examples and the possibilities are as varied as the family. Some things you might consider are:

*As a married couple, did you intend to pay for college or not?

*If you planned to help with college, was there a limit to how much you could or would pay?

*If monies for college are set aside and there was a plan in place to continue saving during the marriage, how might that change as the result of a separation or divorce?

*If you have no savings in place and a mountain of debt, is it realistic to expect to pay for your children’s college education?

Whatever you decide, it is helpful for the child to know in advance what the plans are. That way, if he or she wants to begin working and saving during high school or attend a trade school or two-year college to save money, they will be prepared. You may even want to tell your child about fundraising ideas for college, many fundraising platforms see campaigns created by children and young adults wishing to gain financial help for a college education. This may be something that could help you and your child pay those tuition fees.

Your mediator can help facilitate this discussion whether you are married, divorcing, or divorced. Call for an appointment today at 585-244-2444 or email info@mediationctr.com.

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