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Noncustodial parents' financial obligations for school

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Noncustodial parents and their obligation to financially help their Adult Child through Graduate School

By Gloryanna Diaz

At what point can a noncustodial parent terminate his or her support obligations to their adult child? In the article, “Adult Child Has Burden to Show Why Noncustodial Parent Should Help With Grad School” by Michael Booth, the question on a parental legal obligation is brought to light.

A New Jersey judge found that a child of a divorced parent over the age of 23 could demonstrate that a noncustodial parent should be required to help pay for graduate school and its expenses.

Jones an Ocean County Superior Court Judge said, “Graduate School is not the same as college, and therefore cannot be treated simply as a fifth, sixth or seventh year of undergraduate studies.” He also stated that a “child” with an undergraduate degree has a maturity level that should allow for him or her to be independent and support him or herself financially.”

In a recent case involving a divorced couple, J.C. vs A.C., agreed to help provide financial support for their children’s college education.   However, when J.C. had asked for A.C. to provide financial support for their child’s graduate school, A.C. had requested for their 22 year old, recent college graduate daughter to be emancipated.

If the child can provide extensive proof the request for emancipation can be denied due to a new statue that was enacted, “stated there should be no child support obligations for noncustodial parents after the child turns 23, apart from showing of extraordinary circumstances.”

The sad reality is there is still a possibility for a college graduated to receive financial support from their noncustodial parent to attend graduate school. 

As a recent college graduate, putting the burden on my divorced parents to continue helping me pay for further education would be absurd. There are plenty of different strategies for receiving financial help to pay for grad school. Many jobs and programs offer a tuition reimbursement, and some are even offering to pay full rides. It all lies on the student to use their educated mind to work towards their own graduate school education.

As for the divorced couple, J.C. and A.C., there will be a hearing held sometime this month to determine if A.C. should be required to pay for his college graduate to attend graduate school. 

The attorneys at Simon Law Group are here to help provide legal representation and a free consultation. Call today 800-709-1131

Source: New Jersey Law Journal

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