The college application process can be a daunting thing notjust for aspiring students, but also for the parents that hope to support their children’s education. When it comes to children of divorce, the concerns regarding which schools to apply for and what courses to take can extend to additional worries about which parent should be expected to pay the ongoing expense of tuition, room and board, books, travel, and the rest of it. In New York, the rules regarding college costs for child support cases or following divorce are often impacted by something called the “SUNY” cap. The SUNY cap is a concept commonly used by the New York courts to address the issue of how college education should be paid for. Parental payment for their children’s college isn’t automatic in the state of New York, the trend has been for courts to use a more child-friendly approach to financing college education.
The legislature has codified in the Domestic Relations Law and Family Court Act that courts need to order parents to contribute to a child’s college education, depending on the circumstances at hand, and the child’s best interests. The cases have held that this determination is done according to the parent’s ability to pay, the expectations the parents had for the children (such as their own educational backgrounds), and the children’s academic abilities. Continue reading ›