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What You Should Consider When Mediating College Expenses - Part 3

July 6, 2017  | 
What You Should Consider When Mediating College Expenses - Part 3 by Clare Piro

{3:06 minutes to read} In the previous part of this series, we looked at parental considerations in relation to a child’s college education. In this final post, we will discuss the child’s role with regard to their college education and any credits against child support.

Should there be a contribution from the child?

Do you believe that the child should be responsible to pay for part of college, through loans or otherwise?

This has both philosophical (should the child contribute for her own sake) and practical (can you afford to fully fund college) considerations. I have seen contributions be applied:

  • At a rate of 1/3 for each parent and the child;
  • Where one parent or child takes on a larger share;
  • With variations on the percentages.

The child’s contributions, unless from savings, would be from loans, so the parents should address who will co-sign if required. Also, a scholarship, which is earned through the skill of the child could be part of that child’s contribution.

What requirements are placed on the child in terms of attending college?

What if your child wants to be on “the 5-year plan” or doesn’t do well in school?

Parents often will limit their contributions to four years at an accredited college, university or other institution of higher learning. They may further stipulate that the child attends on a full-time basis and that the child maintains a passing average.

Does a parent paying child support receive a reduction for a child residing at college?

What expenses are “double paid” by someone paying child support?

To avoid double payment of expenses, some parents will provide a credit against child support paid by the non-custodial parent for room and board expenses that are actually paid by that parent.
Others would consider the amount that the custodial parent actually saves, such as in food expenses when the child is residing at school, and make those savings be the deduction.
Still others just provide a monthly percentage discount to the non-custodial parent. If there is more than one child, all reductions should be limited to the child support allocated to the child in college, while other children receive the full child support allocated to them.

 

Whether you just think about these terms on your own or speak to your spouse or partner before addressing them in mediation, it would be helpful to know how you feel about these issues before mediating them.

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

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