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Contributing toward children's college expenses - start saving now!

War story from a past potential client
A guy came in to see me saying the mother of his child was suing him for 50% of college expenses. He said he was already paying basic support & simply didn't have any money left. I reviewed his settlement agreement - it clearly said he was to pay for college. Bottom line: he was screwed! Lesson learned: save for college when they're young!

In New York - child support continues thru college!
Child Support in New York generally continues until age 21 & thus includes payment towards college expenses. If the parent did not start a 529 plan early on, then s/he will still generally be liable for their share of college expenses - whether they can afford it or not. As such, if you have a child in grade school, it's best to start a 529 plan now or else set yourself up to get screwed later (or hope they attend public school). Support Magistrates will most likely impose the expense of college on the non-custodial parent even when he/she is already paying basic child support. Thus, it's a double-whammy: If you're making $50,000/year, you could already be paying $150 per week in basic support - and then on top of that you could be $100 or more per week towards college expenses. Lesson: save now or hurt later!

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