Articles Posted in College Expenses

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In my last blog post I noted that effective September 1, 2017 a number of Court Rules directly impacting upon Family Part practice had been approved by our Supreme Court. I summarized and discussed a number of those Amendments. In this blog post , I will summarize and discuss two of the most significant and substantive new Rules which were adopted in this current cycle. Continue reading

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Despite the recent heat wave, Fall has arrived. Besides the presumably cooler weather, when the calendar hits September, we can always look forward to a number of things – school starts, rush hour traffic resumes, shorter days, etc. However, for us lawyers September brings with it the annual amendments that have been approved by our Supreme Court to the Rules Governing the Courts of the State of New Jersey. Unlike last year, a number of these recent Rule Amendments directly impact upon Family Part Practice. A number were in response to statutory changes that recently went into effect. In light of the number involved, I will summarize and discuss these Amendments over the course of several blog posts. Continue reading

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This week the Northern Hemisphere celebrated the Summer Solstice which marks the longest day of the year and the official start of the summer season. The month of June also brings with it the end of the school here in New Jersey and the many high school graduations. In New Jersey, approximately 70% of those graduates are enrolled to start college in the months ahead. For most families, once the euphoria of graduation wears off and celebratory balloons begin to deflate, it does not take long for the anxiety related the costs, both emotional and mainly financial, associated with a child[en]’s attendance at college to set in. The stress associated with the process can also be magnified in situations where the parties are divorced. Continue reading

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I was at a social event recently. A woman attending that event, after learning that I was a divorce attorney, came up to me. She told me that her ex-husband had just filed court papers seeking to modify or terminate her alimony payments. With indignation in her voice she explained that “He can’t do that because I have permanent alimony!” It was obvious that this person had taken the word “permanent” literally, and believed that her alimony rights were forever immutable. She seemed genuinely shocked when I explained, without getting into the details of her case, that even “permanent” alimony may be modified or terminated upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances. Continue reading

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Several weeks ago my colleague, Elsie Gonzalez, Esq., wrote a blog post discussing the recent Appellate Division case of Ricci v. Ricci, A-1832-14T1 decided on February 9, 2017. That matter aroseCollege-Student-Discounts-300x300
as a result of a child bringing an action against her divorced parents seeking contribution from them for her college expenses as well as other relief. Although the circumstances and reasons for same were in dispute, the child had moved out of her mother’s home at age 19 and moved in with her paternal grandparents. The parents filed a Consent Order declaring the child emancipated. The child subsequently filed a motion seeking to intervene in the matrimonial matter, seeking to vacate the emancipation Order and for contribution towards her college educational expenses, initially for the community college she was attending. Continue reading

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Reiterating the opening to my colleague, Padraic F.X. Dugan, Esq.’s blog outlining the history of U.S. file0002135280483-214x300Supreme Court decisions regarding the fundamental right to parent one’s child, he wrote:  “United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote on behalf of the Court in the case of Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), that ‘the interest of parents in the care, custody, and control of their children — is perhaps the oldest of the fundamental liberty interests recognized by this Court.’ Justice O’Connor went on to cite other decisions like Meyer v. Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923), wherein the Court recognized ‘that the ‘liberty’ protected by the Due Process Clause includes the right of parents to ‘establish a home and bring up children’ and ‘to control the education of their own.’ Continue reading

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Allocation of higher education expenses for the children of divorced or non-married parents continues to be an area of litigation and developing law.  This week, the Appellate Division approved for publication the case of  Avelino-Catabran v. Catabran, in which the Appellate Division addressed the interpretation and enforcement of a Property Settlement Agreement between divorcedfile000195499258 parents that provided for allocation of college expenses not covered by a student’s financial aid package, where a parent had taken out PLUS loans.  The Court also addressed the support of college age unemancipated children where one child resided with one party outside of the U.S., and the other child resided at college in New York. Continue reading

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On March 17, 2016, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued an unpublished opinion in the case of Parrish v. Klugar 2015 WL 10488423 (App. Div. 2016).   In the Parrish case, the father appealed IMG_2849from an August 18, 2014 post-judgment Family Part order that denied his motion to emancipate his then twenty-one-year-old child, ordered the parties to cooperate with a parenting coordinator and abide by her recommendations, and directed the parties to “‘return’ to a psychologist for updated psychological evaluations for themselves as well as their two younger children, then ages thirteen and twelve. Continue reading

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In 2014 my colleague wrote an excellent blog entitled “When Does Child Support End?-Shifting the Burden”, which discussed New Jersey law on the emancipation of a child and the termination of child support.    Another colleague has further blogged about the payment of college expenses by divorced parents.  You may also recall a 2014 case filed in New Jersey by Rachel Canning, who moved out of her parents’ home because she did not want to abide by their rules, yet filed an application to compel her non-divorced parents to pay for her college expenses and support. Continue reading

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file0002022362803 As my colleague, Mr. Dugan has touched upon in prior blog posts, divorced parents can be required to provide a college education (sometimes even an advanced degree) to their children, in addition to having to pay child support under New Jersey law.   The Honorable Lawrence R. Jones, J.S.C. has offered additional insight into this issue in  the case of Black v. Black, published on June 13, 2014.  More specifically, Judge Jones addressed the relationship required between a child and the divorced parent from whom the child seeks a contribution to college expenses. Continue reading