Realistically, families have to start planning for college as soon as they decide to add new family members. College costs have increased to a point where a child planning to attend can no longer reasonably expect to cover their own tuition just by working while enrolled.
Instead, they will likely require the support of their parents to cover tuition and their cost of living expenses while enrolled in higher education. Even their eligibility for some financial aid will depend on the income of their parents.
It can be hard enough for a married couple to make college an attainable dream for their children. After the cost of divorce and the need to support two households, your family may have fewer resources available for those educational purposes. Divorce when you have college-bound students demands that you consider their financial needs.
Child support in New York continues into early adulthood
New York state law creates a stronger parental obligation than the law in other states. Parents in New York have to continue supporting their children until they turn 21 in many cases. The parent paying support will likely continue to do so for at least part of their child’s college enrollment.
However, that leaves at least one year of college education without child support coverage. Additionally, court-ordered child support will probably be far lower than the actual costs of college. Students often incur tens of thousands of dollars in debt during each year of school. These costs could lead to a child support modification, but a more proactive approach to paying for college is better for most families.
Parents can negotiate college costs when they divorce
Rather than relying on the New York family court system, you can decide to resolve your concerns about covering the costs of your child’s college education. By taking control over the arrangements for college tuition and negotiating how to pay them with your ex, you can help support your children together. You and your ex can set terms for college costs and other family needs in a divorce settlement you negotiate outside of court.
Couples choosing to end high-asset marriages will typically have the resources to support their children in their pursuit of education. Planning for those needs as you negotiate the terms for divorce will make the costs of college less of a hurdle for your family.