Child Support & College Expenses on Long Island
Long Island Child Support Agreements have been trending toward inclusion of college tuition and expenses. For many Long Islanders, college can figure greatly into child support agreements. Many parents want to ensure that their children’s education is provided for, regardless of the relationship between the parents.
Basic Child Support Calculations for Long Island
As discussed in previous Child Support posts, basic child support is determined by calculating each parent’s share of the combined parental income. Each parent would then be responsible for a certain percentage based upon how many children are in the family. Additionally, statutory law in New York requires the non-custodial parent pay child support until the child is 21 years old.
Does College Tuition Reduce Payments to Non-Custodial Parent?
For some parents, the obligation to pay child support until the child is 21 overlaps with some of the child’s college education. As a result, many believe that they are entitled to a reduction in child support during this time. The rationale behind that is if the child is either no longer living with the custodial parent, or, if the non-custodial parent is contributing monies toward the child’s education, the non-custodial parent should be entitled to, at the very least, a credit. This credit would then be deducted from the basic child support obligation.
The Law on Long Island, New York
On Long Island, New York, the rules regarding college expenses are typically governed by a SUNY (State University of New York) cap. While payment of college expenses isn’t automatic in the state, courts have been favoring a child-friendly approach to the financing of a child’s college education. However, there is not a bright line rule requiring each parent to pay a portion of their child’s tuition. For the time being, Nassau and Suffolk courts take into consideration both the best interests of the child, as well the totality of the circumstances. The court will look at each parent’s ability to pay, the expectations each parent has for their children, and the children’s academic abilities.
Agreement of the Parties
As is the case for many things surrounding a divorce, the parties can agree to certain provisions in their Stipulation of Settlement. Specifically concerning college expenses and child support, parents can set a cap (typically a SUNY cap), define the timing at which the cap will be determined, discuss responsibilities regarding costs beyond tuition, including pre-college expenses such as SAT tutors and application costs, when support ends and other forms of financing. It’s important to remember that there are many ways parents can negotiate an agreement regarding college expenses; one size does not fit all.
If you are attempting to negotiate your Long Island Divorce, or, a child support arrangement, it’s important to have experienced counsel by your side. There are many different avenues your agreement can take and having proper counsel can help you achieve the best result for your situation.
Have Questions Regarding Child Support? Contact Our Long Island Divorce Law Firm
If you would like to ensure you and your children are receiving the best agreement possible, we can help. Contact our Long Island Divorce & Family Law firm at 631-629-2545 to set up your free consultation.
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