A Parent’s Contribution to College Expenses Can be Affected by the Remarriage of a Former Spouse

When assessing each divorced parent’s contributions to their child’s college expenses, the totality of each parent’s financial picture must be evaluated. This picture may even take into account that one parent has remarried.
While the new spouse will not be ordered to contribute to a stepchild, there may be significant economic benefit that accrues to the remarried parent, as a direct result of the financial benefits of the new spouse’s income and assets. For example, household expenditures of the parent may be reduced as her spouse is now footing part of those household expenditures.
In that event, the remarried spouse may be ordered to contribute more towards a child’s college expenses than would have been ordered if the remarriage had never taken place. (See Hudson v. Hudson, 315 N.J.S.577, 584, App.Div.1998)

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