Addressing college costs during divorce mediation
There will be many decisions affecting the family that will be negotiated amicably during divorce mediation. For spouses with children in divorce mediation one area that is important to address is how to deal with future college costs. Regardless of the age of your children at the time of separating or divorcing, the hope and expectation for many is that the children will attend college when they graduate high school. So to properly prepare for this we include future college cost discussions in our divorce mediation sessions.
Under the NYS Child Support Standards Act, there is no requirement that a parent pay college tuition or other related college costs. To ensure the children’s’ education is properly arranged for we urge those in divorce mediation to consider what is referred to as the “SUNY CAP”.
The “SUNY CAP” limits what each parent will contribute towards college tuition and related expenses up to the cost of a State University of New York “SUNY” college. Typically, parents will split the costs either in proportion to their respective incomes at the tme their child is entering college, some other percentage, or one parent will be solely responsible for the costs, if that is economically feasible.
Obviously there are benefits to the children’s future as well as to the separating parents in making these arrangements a part of the final settlement agreement. And as with most legal matters there are other college costs to discuss as well as different ways of financing college education. At the New York Divorce Mediation Group, we provide options so each parent can make informed decisions.
If you have children and are considering separation or divorce, then be sure to ask about how best to prepare for your children’s college years. We will be happy to discuss this with you during your sessions or as a introduction to our practice during your initial free consultation.