Planning for College Savings During Mediation
As parents, you want to make sure that your child has post-high-school educational options—and unfortunately, colleges and vocational programs are not cheap. How can you best plan for college savings during mediation?
New York state laws
In New York, the age of majority is 18—but the duty to pay child support doesn’t end until the child is 21, unless the child has been emancipated. Furthermore, a judge can order the parents to pay postsecondary educational expenses if they deem it in the best interests of the child, but only until the child is 21. Finally, judges can order parents to pay support to an adult child with disabilities until they reach 21, but after that, the state is responsible for the child’s support.
Coming to an agreement
Parents don’t have to strictly abide by state guidelines and laws. You and your ex can reach an agreement during mediation about how you’d like to handle college savings and expenses. For example, the higher-earning parent may take a larger percentage of contributions. You can even agree to extending support past age 21, if it’s appropriate and affordable for your family.
You can also agree to lesser contributions than required by law, if both parties agree. Sometimes one parent might want to liquidate their share of an asset or otherwise provide for the child, instead of monthly payments. Other times, it might be worth finding different measures simply to get the divorce over with faster. If you want to ensure your and your child’s rights are accounted for, consider hiring your own attorney for advice.
For more information about divorce, custody and child support, talk to the seasoned Long Island divorce mediators at Solutions Divorce Mediation today.