In New York and other states, you’re responsible for providing for your children until they reach adulthood. This is true even if you are no longer in a romantic relationship with your son or daughter’s other parent. In some cases, you might be responsible for paying for your child’s college education even if he or she is over the age of 18.
What does the divorce decree say?
A divorce decree might cap the amount of money that you’re required to contribute toward your son or daughter’s college education. It may also include language that gives you the right to withhold funds if you don’t approve of your child’s choice of school or major.
How much can you afford to contribute?
Generally, you can’t be required to spend more than you can reasonably afford to contribute to a child’s education fund. In states such as New York, you aren’t required to spend more than what it would cost to send your son or daughter to a public state college or university.
Encourage your child to seek grants or scholarships
A grant or scholarship has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of your child’s college education. Typically, they are available to students who get good grades, participate in work-study programs or are good enough to play sports at the collegiate level. It isn’t uncommon for employers to offer tuition assistance to part-time employees who work a minimum number of hours during a calendar year.
If you have any questions about the terms of a child support agreement, it may be a good idea to speak with an attorney. He or she may be able to review the agreement to determine if you’re required to put money toward a son or daughter’s college education. A legal professional might also take steps to modify an existing agreement or take other steps to ensure that making tuition payments won’t create a financial hardship.