Thus, paying for college is an issue the divorce mediators at Westfield Mediation, LLC, address during the divorce process. It can be difficult for parents with young children to think about their children going to college, let alone who will pay for it. Yet, if you don’t want to return to court in the future because you never addressed the cost of college, you should lay out some parameters in your initial divorce agreement. In divorce mediation, we frame it as what do you expect as the bare minimum from the other parent. Is each parent paying in proportion to income, splitting it equally, contributing a specific amount, paying for the cost of a state or private university?
When it comes time for your child to actually attend college, if one or both parents want to contribute more than the bare minimum as directed in the divorce agreement, s/he can. If you agreed when you got divorced and your child was 8 years old that you and your spouse would equally pay for Rutgers University and now your child is 18 and got into Princeton (congratulations!), you can pay more of the costs than expected towards the cost of Princeton, but you are not obligated to pay more than your share of the cost of Rutgers, even if the child attends Princeton. By planning ahead in divorce mediation, you avoid arguments down the road.
For more information on planning for college costs during a divorce or divorce mediation, please contact Randi M. Albert, JD, or Michelle Weinberg, M. Ed., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, at Westfield Mediation, LLC at 908.913.0373. View our website at www.westfieldnjmediation.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.